BlackBerry, best known for keyboard-toting smartphones, has found a new path back into the limelight. The Canadian firm shifted its concentration to enterprise services and cybersecurity. That concentration took a huge leap forward this week when BlackBerry announced the acquisition of AI-based cybersecurity company Cylance for $1.4 billion.
“Cylance’s leadership in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity will immediately complement our entire portfolio, UEM, and QNX in particular,” said Blackberry CEO John Chen. “We believe adding Cylance’s capabilities to our trusted advantages in privacy, secure mobility, and embedded systems will make BlackBerry Spark indispensable to realizing the Enterprise of Things.”
Business Insider suggested Cylance was preparing to go public, but Blackberry stepped in. Cylance is the largest acquisition in Blackberry history and set to close before February 2019. Blackberry will be paying the full amount in cash up front. Cylance will continue to operate as a separate business unit with Blackberry, and Blackberry plans to integrate Cylance technology with its Spark platform in the future.
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Irvine California, Cylance uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more to proactively analyze and detect threats. Several Fortune 100 companies and governments are rumored to be clients. Company investors include big names like Blackstone, Khosla Ventures, and Dell Technologies. Cylance also has global offices in Ireland, the Netherlands, and Japan.