Written byGreg Otto
A European-based private equity company announced Friday it has taken a significant minority stake in Romanian cybersecurity company Bitdefender, valuing the company at more than $600 million.
Vitruvian Partners, a London-based private equity firm, acquired approximately 30 percent of Bitdefender from existing shareholder Axxess Capital. Vitruvian becomes the second-largest shareholder with co-founders Mariuca and Florin Talpes continuing to hold the majority stake.
The investment comes as the company has been growing, particularly in the United States. Bitdefender says more than 40 percent of sales are currently generated in the U.S., primarily from corporate customers.
Bitdefender claims it has over 500 million users worldwide, putting in the ranks with other large anti-virus companies like Kaspersky Lab, McAfee and Symantec.
“Vitruvian’s extensive experience investing in high growth technology companies endorses our strategy for international growth and in particular the significant investment we are making in building our Enterprise Solutions offering and our presence in the United States,” Talpes said in a release. “We continue to operate with a sound financial footing – this enables us to further expand and broaden our product portfolio and so ensure we stay ahead of cyber criminals to protect better our customers.”
The deal comes as money continues to pour into cybersecurity companies. Over the past six months, Cylance, Cybereason and Illumio have all seen funding rounds exceeding $100 million. Additionally, network security firm ForeScout recently announced a forthcoming IPO after valued at $1 billion.
Bitdefender touts it growth as being a result of its focus on research and development. Recently, the company has released research focused on ransomware’s growth. The company finds that ransomware payments will hit a record $2 billion in 2017, doubling the $1 billion paid out by victims last year.
The company also found that criminals are heavily targeting poorer regions with malware that use victims’ computers to mine cryptocurrency — a scheme known as cryptomining or cryptojacking — due to the inability to pay ransoms.