Romanian cybersecurity giant gets new private equity backer

Romanian cybersecurity giant gets new private equity backer
By bne IntelliNews December 4, 2017

Investment fund Vitruvian Partners has bought a 30% stake in Romanian cybersecurity firm Bitdefender from Axxes Partners in a deal that “puts the company’s value at more than $600mn”, according to a press release from Bitdefender. The value of the 30% stake is thus estimated at a bit over $180mn.

The investment follows a ramping up of Bitdefender’s international operations, especially in the US, where more than 40% of sales are now generated. 

"Vitruvian's extensive experience in developing technology companies supports our growth strategy and, in particular, significant investment in building solutions for companies and our presence on the US market. We will continue to operate with solid financial bases, which will enable us to expand and diversify our product portfolio to better protect our customers and keep us one step ahead of the attackers,” said Florin Talpes, Bitdefender CEO and co-founder.

Following the acquisition of the 30% stake, Vitruvian becomes the second-largest shareholder, with Florin and Mariuca Talpes continuing to hold the majority stake, alongside a group of private investors with a minority stake. Axxes was a shareholder for eight years. 

While Romania has long been a destination for IT and shared service outsourcing, Bitdefender is an early example of a homegrown tech company that has achieved international success.

Bucharest-headquartered Bitdefender is a provider of cybersecurity to governments, businesses and individuals in over 150 countries. Its website stresses its emphasis on research and development; over 600 of its 1,300 employees are engineers and researchers. 

The deal between Axxess Capital and Vitruvian Partners was arranged by representatives of the London branch of Deutsche Bank AG and is subject to regulatory approvals.

In June 2017, Vitruvian announced that it had completed the fundraising process for its third fund. With an investment budget of €2.4bn euros, Vitruvian Investment Partnership III is one of Europe's largest investors in fast-growing companies. Vitruvian Partners invested in 30 companies with its first two funds, and manages assets worth €5bn. The fund has offices in London, Stockholm, Munich, San Francisco and Luxembourg.