infoTECH Feature

November 30, 2011

Digital Security Software Company Clearswift Acquired by Lyceum

Digital security software company Clearswift (News - Alert) has been acquired by investor Lyceum Capital in a deal that will bring a greater focus to the company's content-aware security products. Clearswift is part of the more than $4 billion e-mail and web gateway component of the security software market.

According to research company Ovum (News - Alert), e-mail and web gateway security offerings are expected to achieve a CAGR of 6.8 percent from 2010 to 2015. The deal with Lyceum will enable Clearswift to broaden its security software range and also acquire further technical capabilities. The company also plans to increase its presence in key vertical markets as well as build its scale and geographical reach.

The company's growth strategy, through Lyceum and its management, will focus on capitalizing on opportunities from high profile cyber-security breaches and the increase in regulatory compliance that has resulted. The recent introduction of significant fines for breaches of data protection in countries like the UK will also play a role in the company's direction moving forward.

Clearswift's integrated product offerings manage inbound security threats, data loss prevention, web access policies and compliance across web and email communications. The company is headquartered in Theale, UK, near reading, and operates satellite locations in Germany, Spain, Japan, the US, Australia and Holland. Clearswift employs about 170 people and has around 17,000 customers in 50 countries. The company focuses on the defense, law and order and government sectors, targeting organizations that view the security of their IP and communications as a strategic priority.

Lyceum has recently invested in the technology sector with a $47 million acquisition of IT services provider Adapt in September, as well as a $78 million investment in SaaS (News - Alert) accounting and ERP software and services company Access in March. The Clearswift deal, which also features investors Amadeus Capital Partners, DFJ Espirit and Kennet, brings Lyceum's total dealings in the IT industry to around $157 million this year.

“In Clearswift, we are backing an exciting company which deploys world-class technical expertise and software solutions across an exceptionally impressive and loyal customer base,” said Hand, co-founder of Lyceum. “With an already strong management team bolstered by the arrival of Martin and our strategic, operational and financial input, we're expecting Clearswift to continue with its strong organic growth supplemented with targeted acquisitions.”

Lyceum will take a significant majority stake in Clearswift, with partners Jeremy Hand and David Harland joining the company's board. Richard Turner, Clearswift CEO, will continue to lead. Turner has driven the profitable growth of the company's products over the past two years. Software entrepreneur and former CEO of IRIS Software Martin Leuw will also join the board as chairman. His role will be to guide the company through its next phase of organic and acquisitive growth.

“Threats and risks are increasingly becoming specific to individual customers and need a tailored, more flexible approach,” added Turner. “The one-size-fits-all anti-spam and anti-virus technologies many companies rely on is outdated. With its heritage in both content inspection and flexible compliance policies backed up by excellent service, Clearswift is well positioned to meet customer needs in a world where social media and web technologies are rapidly transforming the way we all do business. We are delighted to have the backing of Lyceum Capital to support the next phase of our ambitious growth plans.”

In other news, Echoworx (News - Alert), a provider of credential management and managed encryption services for complete email and data protection, recently announced a new partnership with Clearswift. The company said Clearswift will be adding portal-based encryption service to its existing policy-based encryption solutions.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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