BlackBerry to Acquire Cylance and Add Premier AI and Cybersecurity Capabilities

Cylance process

Cylance process

Cylance will keep on working as a different specialty unit after the arrangement closes, BlackBerry said.

Business Insider's report suggested Cylance was preparing to go public until BlackBerry swooped in.

BlackBerry said on Friday it will acquire Cylance, an artificial intelligence and cybersecurity startup, for $1.4 billion in cash plus the assumption of unvested employee incentive awards.

BlackBerry has increasingly focused on enterprise software in the past few years, as its star has faded in the smartphone manufacturing area. The deal is expected to close before the end of the company's current fiscal year in February 2019, pending regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

Cylance is a cybersecurity company that relies on artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop security services. The company exited the smartphone business entirely two years ago.

About 120 million cars are using BlackBerry's technology, particularly QNX, Chen said on Friday.

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Founded in 2012 by Ryan Permeh, Stuart McClure, Cylance is the first company to apply artificial intelligence, algorithmic science and machine learning to cyber security and improve the way companies, governments and end users proactively solve the world's most hard security problems.

The California-based company's Chief Executive Stuart McClure, in turn, said it would be able to leverage Blackberry's strength in mobile communications and security to adapt its AI technology.

The company now has around 3,500 active enterprise customers, including more than 20 per cent of the Fortune 500, giving BlackBerry access to more top-end organisations across the business world. The company software resides mainly on these devices and is merely created to work even when they are not connected to a network and without consuming much more power.

BlackBerry, based in Waterloo, Ontario, said the acquisition of Cylance would enable it to add artificial intelligence capabilities to its existing software products. BlackBerry cited a recent Gartner survey that found that security was the top barrier to IoT success, with 35 percent of technology executives calling it a concern.

Update: Founded in 2012, Cylance secured more than US$280 million from venture capital funds, according to Refinitiv data.

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