Avanan, A Retrospective: Inside the Investment that Resulted in the Largest Acquisition in Check Point History
Written by: Yuda Doron, Shay Grinfeld, Raz Mangel and the Greenfield Team.
We originally invested in Avanan in 2016. At the time, the company was looking to leverage its unique knowledge in phishing attacks and malware detection to build a new type of CASB. Later on, the vision evolved as companies moved to the cloud and started to adopt new collaboration tools at a rapid pace. Gil and his team recognized this shift and decided to leverage their proprietary AI-based phishing technology to protect emails (e.g. Office 365, G-Suite),workplace communication tools such as Microsoft Teams and Slack, and file sharing solutions such as Box, Citrix ShareFile, and Dropbox. Their technology allows customers to deploy the Avanan platform in one click via API to prevent Business Email Compromise and block phishing, malware, data leakage, account takeover, and shadow IT across the enterprise.
Since the beginning of Covid the company has experienced especially strong tailwinds as organizations shifted to work from home, cloud adoption and digital transformation became ever more prevalent, and collaboration tools became a must. Meanwhile, cyberattacks increased dramatically as attackers sought to exploit these newfound disparate access points into organizations, often via phishing. These attacks take advantage of human error by furnishing fake links or by asking for credentials in a sophisticated and unassuming way; if provided, they enable attackers to breach the organization. Unsurprisingly, the 2020 Verizon Cyber Report found that 36% of the breaches were based on phishing, up 11% from the year prior.
Over the years, the Avanan team used its technological expertise to build the best enterprise solution for email and collaboration security, protecting more than 5,000 customers and over 2.5 million inboxes. Avanan is ranked #1 in Gartner Peer Insights for email security, #1 in G2’s Cloud Email Security, and Deloitte 500: Avanan is the Fastest Growing Email Security Company.
Earlier this week, Avanan announced its acquisition by Check Point Software Technologies (NASDAQ: CHKP), representing the largest acquisition in Check Point’s history. Check Point has been using Avanan’s technology as an OEM for the last three years and has seen first hand the strength of its platform along with the potential of combining Avanan’s technology with Check Point’s software and global footprint. The acquisition also exemplifies the essence of Israel as ‘Scale-Up Nation,’ in which Israeli enterprises acquire other Israeli-founded companies to deliver best-in-class solutions on a global scale.
To the Avanan team: Congratulations on this incredible outcome. Thank you for including us on this journey – we are grateful to have been your partners over the past five years, and we could not be more excited to see how the combined force of Avanan and Check Point will redefine security for cloud email and SaaS collaboration suites.