Private equity, Content, Networking

Thoma Bravo Completes Venafi Machine Identity Management Investment

Jeff Hudson, CEO, Venafi
Jeff Hudson, CEO, Venafi

Private equity firm Thoma Bravo has completed a strategic growth investment in Venafi, a provider of machine identity management software that improves cybersecurity. The investment valued Venafi at $1.15 billion, making the security company a newly minted unicorn, the companies say.

Thoma Bravo first announce the Venafi investment in early December 2020.

Venafi’s software protects machine identity types by orchestrating cryptographic keys and digital certificates for SSL/TLS, SSH, code signing, mobile and IoT (Internet of Things), the company says.

Moreover, Venafi’s software offers automated remediation that reduces the security and availability risks connected with weak or compromised machine identities, and prevents communication with machines that are not trusted, Venafi adds.

Thoma Bravo Invests in Venafi: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the completed investment, Jeff Hudson, CEO of Venafi, said:

“We are thrilled to partner with Thoma Bravo at a time when companies around the world are realizing that the foundation of security for all digital transformation initiatives is a solid machine identity management program. Thoma Bravo’s strategic investment will allow us to build on this momentum and deliver machine identity protection solutions to an expanded customer base, while continuing to drive product innovation and growth.”

Chip Virnig, partner, Thoma Bravo

Added Seth Boro, a managing partner at Thoma Bravo:

“As the global digital transformation accelerates, companies are increasingly recognizing the need to secure machine-to-machine connections and communications, and they’re turning to Venafi to help them. We look forward to working closely with Jeff and the Venafi team to build on the company’s market-defining success to date.”

Concluded Chip Virnig, a partner at Thoma Bravo:

“As a pioneer in machine identity management, we have watched Venafi grow into the preferred partner for companies seeking to understand the range of risks facing their technology networks. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Venafi and leverage our operational and investment capabilities to accelerate Venafi’s growth and market leadership.”

Multiple companies advised Thoma Bravo and Venafi on the deal. Strategic advisors included:

  • J.P. Morgan Securities served as financial advisor to Venafi and Orrick served as its legal counsel.
  • Financing for the transaction was provided by Truist Securities, Interbank, Nomura Corporate Funding Americas LLC and Barclays.
  • Truist Securities, Nomura Securities International LLC and Barclays also served as financial advisor to Thoma Bravo, and Kirkland & Ellis served as its legal counsel.

Thoma Bravo: Existing Security Investments, Future Moves

Thoma Bravo owns stakes in multiple cybersecurity companies -- including multiple software firms that focus on MSPs and MSSPs. Example investments include:

SPAC Possibilities: Thoma Bravo is also searching the software market for a company that it can potentially acquire and take public. The effort includes a new SPAC (special purpose acquisition company called Thoma Bravo Advantage. The SPAC is a "blank check" company that plans to raise up to $900 million for an initial public offering (IPO) and an associated software company investment/acquisition.

Here’s some more info about the pros and cons of SPAC investments, according to Protiviti, a global consulting firm that helps companies solve problems in finance, technology, operations, governance, risk and internal audit.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.