Boston-based private equity firm Abry Partners is said to have led a substantial investment in Dallas-based StackPath, a new security-as-a-service acquisition platform. Abry’s investment in StackPath reportedly amounted to $150 million, although the deal terms have not been disclosed.

Abry Partners, founded in 1989, has over $4.3 billion of assets under management, and focuses on private equity or debt investments in media, communications, business and information services in North America. The firm is currently investing Abry Partners VIII, a $1.9 billion private equity fund.

Abry says it typically takes “controlling positions in portfolio companies” and is “an active partner with management throughout the life of an investment.” As such, the deal appears to have been modeled using a structure more akin to a ‘buy and build’ strategy frequently deployed by private equity firms to accelerate growth, rather than a conventional venture capital growth strategy.

Consistent with this strategy, StackPath said it made four initial buyouts, including Fireblade, an Israeli cloud based WAF technology startup based in Tel Aviv, co-founded in 2009 by Shay Rapaport and Erez Azaria which had previously raised $5.1 million; MaxCDN, a Los Angeles-based content delivery network (CDN) founded in 2009; Cloak, a Seattle-based smartphone app which helps users learn – in incognito mode – where their friends are and how to avoid them; and Staminus, a DDoS mitigation technology startup founded in 2005 by Matt Mahvi and based in Newport Beach, Calif. No deal terms were disclosed.

“The StackPath platform is an integrated response to a fragmented problem created by too many individual, appliance-based, bolt-on security solutions,” says StackPath’s founder, chairman and CEO Lance Crosby. “We appreciate the support from ABRY Partners as we continue our mission of building a path to a secure Internet.”

StackPath is Crosby’s vision for a frictionless and scalable security platform designed to accommodate an ever-expanding spectrum of cyber threats. He previously served as founder, chairman and CEO of SoftLayer Technologies, which was acquired by IBM in 2013 reportedly for $2 billion, and became the foundation of IBM’s Cloud Computing division. He left IBM in January 2015 as part of an internal reorganization.

“Just like cloud disrupted the global Infrastructure landscape, StackPath will create a similar, much needed, disruption to the security space,” said Andrew Higginbotham, COO of StackPath. “StackPath’s unified, cloud-based approach designed specifically for an ecosystem of IoT, sensors and big data will usher in a significant change to a market with too many niche ‘feature’ companies and a few big legacy giants built for an Internet that largely served Web pages.”

Photo: Lance Crosby, Chairman & CEO, StackPath.



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