Cloud Cyber Startup Wiz Explores Unconventional Acquisition of Israeli Firm Sentinel One


by Ifi Reporter Category:Hitech Aug 25, 2023

In a surprising turn of events, cloud cybersecurity startup Wiz is reportedly considering the acquisition of Sentinel One, an established Israeli cybersecurity company, according to a recent Bloomberg report. This potential acquisition marks an unusual move in the tech industry, as startups typically do not acquire publicly traded companies. Sentinel One's shares experienced a 3.2% surge in Wall Street trading following the news.

Wiz, valued at an impressive $10 billion in its latest funding round, is believed to be in discussions with banks for financing to facilitate this bold move. The acquisition amount is estimated to exceed $5 billion. If the deal goes through, it will certainly reshape the cybersecurity landscape.

Founders with a Storied Background

Wiz was founded by Assaf Rapaport, currently serving as the company's CEO. Rapaport gained prominence for his role in the high-tech protests against a regime coup. The startup's other founders, Yanon Kostica (VP of Products), Ami Lutbek (VP of Technologies), and Roy Reznik (VP of Research and Development), boast an impressive track record, having worked together for over two decades. This team cohesion was forged during their tenure as managers of Microsoft's cloud security group, where they were also responsible for the creation of Adalum, a venture acquired by Microsoft for approximately $320 million.

Wiz's Interest in Sentinel One

Tamar Harel, a spokesperson for Wiz, confirmed that the company is actively exploring the potential acquisition of Sentinel One. Harel stated that Wiz has been closely monitoring Sentinel One's growth trajectory for several years, indicating a well-considered interest in this move.

Sentinel One's Challenges

Sentinel One, a company that specializes in safeguarding end devices, cloud computing, and more through AI-driven technology, has faced challenges in recent times. The company's stock witnessed an 80% decline over the past two years, prompting the exploration of sale and other strategic options. To navigate these challenges, Sentinel One engaged the services of investment bank Qatalyst Partners to guide discussions with potential buyers, be it a sector company or an investment entity.

Cyber Industry Dynamics

Sentinel One, under the leadership of Tomer Weingarten since its establishment in 2013, notably executed the largest cyber IPO in Israel's history. Despite its promising start and a valuation of $9 billion during the 2021 tech bubble, the company faced profitability issues. It chose to maintain competitive pricing to capture market share, a strategy that impacted its bottom line. In a recent quarterly report, Sentinel One lowered its annual projections and announced a 5% reduction in its workforce, trimming down from a previous headcount of 2,000 employees.

As the tech world watches closely, Wiz's potential acquisition of Sentinel One could reshape the industry's landscape and bring together two companies with unique strengths and challenges. The outcome of these negotiations will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for both cybersecurity and startup dynamics.



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