About 13 years after its inception, Israeli start up Finjan exits with a ‘humble’ (yet profitable) acquisition by UK’s M86 Security. With over $80 million in invested capital, the company was a once a contender in the lucrative anti virus and Malaware protection market for the enterprise. Yesterday, UK’s M86 has announced the acquisition of Finjan for an undisclosed sum. Globes estimates Finjan’s price tag around $30-40 million. The deal will be paid in stock, and Finjan’s founders get to keep the intellectual property rights.
Finjan was started in 1996 by Shlomo Touboul. In a Steve Jobs-esque move, he left the company in 1998 and was replaced by an American CEO, only to be recalled to rehabilitate the company in 2001, after a slow down in growth. Finjan started as a consumer company, but changed its business model to enterprise several years ago preventing crimeware, malware and data leakage using the company’s patented active real-time content inspection technologies.
The technology is one of Finjan’s core assets and it will remain in the hands of the original shareholders even after the sale. According to Globes:
“The reason for the unusual provision is Finjan’s successful lawsuit against McAfee over patent infringement. Finjan is due to receive tens of millions of dollars in damages, which will go to the existing shareholders.”.
There’s a high level of synergy between the two companies. Finjan’s secure web gateway solutions (SWG) will be folded into M86’s suite of security products in Web Monitoring, Reporting and Filtering, Email Security and Endpoint and Mobile Security. M86 hopes to achieve market leadership, by providing all the security needs of the enterprise under one roof, positioning itself in direct competition with giants like Cisco, Symantec and perhaps Google one of these days.
TheMarker reports that the deal was profitable for Finjan’s current shareholders and investors which include a long list of funds and corporations. Among others: Benchmark, HarbourVest, Israel Seed, BGV, Cisco and Microsoft. We reported on Finjan’s most recent round of $22 million back in 2008. This is