Vector Capital Acquires Majority Ownership of WatchGuard Technologies
Over the last 25 years, WatchGuard has driven consistent innovation and growth. In recent years that growth accelerated significantly—fueled by our aggressive portfolio expansion and our ability to build and retain an enviable channel community—as we united behind the mission of making enterprise-grade security accessible to all customers via Managed Service Providers (MSPs). Those growth accelerators were made possible because of the support we received from our two primary investors, Vector Capital and Francisco Partners, who helped us to fund four major portfolio-expanding acquisitions in less than five years to supplement organic investments.
We have built an amazing cybersecurity company with a relevant product portfolio, a loyal partner ecosystem, and talented employees. That platform gives us the perfect launching pad for future innovation and continued growth. Even as we have proudly delivered on our mission over the last five years, as we look forward, it is time to accelerate our vision – which is to be THE security platform for MSPs. To achieve that acceleration, we must think even more ambitiously and make critical investments. This makes continued strategic and financial support from our investors imperative.
To that end, today, WatchGuard announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Vector Capital in which it will make a large new equity investment in the business, acquire interests previously owned by Francisco Partners and other co-investors, and become the WatchGuard’s majority shareholder.
“Vector firmly believes in WatchGuard’s portfolio, partners, employees, and vision. This transaction is a testament to WatchGuard’s current success and the opportunity ahead,” said Prakash Panjwani, CEO of WatchGuard Technologies. “We believe Vector is well positioned to further accelerate WatchGuard’s growth strategy while preserving our company culture and commitment to security delivery through the MSP community.”
During Vector Capital’s and Francisco Partners’ joint ownership for more than a decade, WatchGuard transformed from a trusted network security vendor to a full-fledged cybersecurity platform provider. Today, the company’s Unified Security Platform™ enables more than 17,000 MSPs to protect the environments, users, and networks of more than 250,000 businesses worldwide.
Building on its prior ownership, Vector Capital is well-positioned to partner with WatchGuard’s management team to further accelerate the company’s growth. WatchGuard will continue to invest in critical areas including but not limited to Cloud transformation, secure access service edge (SASE), extended detection and response (XDR), managed detection and response (MDR), and further innovation in security automation and simplification for MSPs.
The transaction is expected to close in Q3 2022, subject to customary conditions, and financial details were not disclosed.