Vector Capital will be the majority shareholder of WatchGuard

Vector Capital will be the majority shareholder of WatchGuard

WatchGuard Technologies has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Vector Capital for a major new capital investment in the business.

Additionally, WatchGuard Technologies will acquire stakes previously owned by Francisco Partners and other co-investors, becoming the company’s majority shareholder.

WatchGuard provides network security and intelligence, advanced endpoint protection, multi-factor authentication, and secure Wi-Fi, which it says has made enterprise-grade security accessible to a variety of organizations since its inception in 1996.

In addition, WatchGuard says that its focus on delivering best-in-class security offerings and giving managed service providers (MSPs) the means to easily set up and manage these offerings has helped increase the widespread adoption of advanced cybersecurity.

Vector Capital and Francisco Partners have jointly owned WatchGuard for more than 10 years, during which time the company has transformed from a trusted network security provider to a full-scale cybersecurity platform provider.

“WatchGuard has established itself as a leading cybersecurity company under our joint ownership, with a relevant product portfolio, strong partner ecosystem and talented team of employees,” says Ben Ball, Partner at Francisco Partners.

“We are proud of our role in supporting WatchGuard’s transformation and look forward to the continued success of the company as they continue to pave the way for simplified security when the industry needs it most.”

WatchGuard notes that its Unified Security Platform currently makes it easy to protect environments, users, and networks for more than 17,000 MSPs at more than 250,000 companies worldwide.

“MSPs represent the future of security delivery, but to be successful, they need a bespoke platform built for their needs,” says Sandy Gill, CEO of Vector Capital.

“WatchGuard is uniquely positioned to lead the market in enabling these MSPs with its Unified Security Platform. We are excited to continue to invest both organically and through acquisition in the company’s mission to provide security-focused MSPs with a provider, platform and vision on which to build their business.”

WatchGuard’s previous ownership experience has positioned Vector Capital as a strong partner for the company’s management team to accelerate its growth.

Under the agreement, WatchGuard will continue to invest in critical areas such as cloud transformation, secure access service edge, extended detection and response, managed detection and response, and other areas of security automation and simplification for MSPs.

“Vector strongly believes in the WatchGuard portfolio, partners, employees and vision. This transaction is a testament to WatchGuard’s current success and the opportunity ahead,” says WatchGuard Technologies CEO Prakash Panjwani.

“We believe Vector is well positioned to further accelerate WatchGuard’s growth strategy while preserving our company’s culture and commitment to delivering security through the MSP community.”

“We are thrilled to continue the journey we began with WatchGuard employees, partners and customers more than a decade ago,” says Vector Capital Founder, CEO and Chief Investment Officer Alex Slusky.

“We are proud of the foundation of success we have built with the WatchGuard management team and look forward to driving the company’s next phase of growth and transformation.”

The companies add that the transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2022, subject to customary conditions.

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