Friday 16 November 2018 9:57 am

Blackberry buys artificial intelligence firm Cylance for $1.4bn

Blackberry has today confirmed it is acquiring Cylance, a US artificial intellig‚Äčence and cyber security firm, for $1.4bn (£1.1bn).

The deal is expected to close before the end of Blackberry's current financial year in February 2019, pending regulatory approval.

It is thought Cylance will work as part of Blackberry's Enterprise of Things (EoT) division, Blackberry Spark, which is an encrypted business communications platform. However Blackberry said Cylance will continue to operate as a separate business unit within the Canadian firm.

"Cylance’s leadership in artificial intelligence and cyber security will immediately complement our entire portfolio," said Blackberry's executive chairman and chief executive officer John Chen.

"We believe adding Cylance’s capabilities to our trusted advantages in privacy, secure mobility, and embedded systems will make Blackberry Spark indispensable to realising the Enterprise of Things (EoT)."

Founded in 2012, Cylance uses artificial intelligence and machine learning in cyber security software which can predict and prevent both known and unknown threats to businesses. It has more than 3,500 active business users, including more than 20 per cent of the Fortune 500.

"Our highly skilled cyber security workforce and market leadership in next-generation endpoint solutions will be a perfect fit within Blackberry where our customers, teams and technologies will gain immediate benefits from Blackberry’s global reach,” said Stuart McClure, co-founder, chairman and chief of Cylance.

"We are eager to leverage Blackberry’s mobility and security strengths to adapt our advanced AI technology to deliver a single platform."