Mobile security startup Zimperium acquired by Liberty Strategic Capital for $525M

Mobile cybersecurity provider Zimperium Inc. today announced that it has agreed to be acquired by Liberty Strategic Capital in a transaction worth about $525 million.

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the founder and managing partner of Liberty Strategic Capital, will become the chair of Zimperium’s board. Existing investor SoftBank Group Corp. is set to retain its stake in the startup following the acquisition.

Founded in 2010, Zimperium provides cybersecurity software that helps companies protect workers’ handsets from hacking attempts. The startup also offers a suite of tools that developers can use to build more secure mobile apps.

Zimperium’s software product for protecting employee devices is known as zIPS. It runs directly on workers’ handsets and uses machine learning to detect cybersecurity issues. Zimperium says zIPS can detect malware and other threats, as well as vulnerabilities such as insecure device settings that could lead to a data breach if left unaddressed.

Zimperium’s second offering is a suite of mobile development tools called MAPS. One of the tools in the suite enables developers to scan the code of their mobile apps for vulnerabilities regulatory compliance issues. Another component of MAPS can be used to equip apps with the ability to detect hacking attempts. 

The MAPS suite also includes tools for more specialized tasks, such as preventing hackers from extracting encryption keys. Accessing an app’s encryption key can allow hackers to decrypt and read user data. According to Zimperium, MAPS prevents breaches by turning the part of an app’s code that is responsible for protecting data into a form that can’t be reverse engineered by hackers. 

“There’s no question that the world is going mobile,” said Zimperium Chief Executive Officer Shridhar Mittal. “And as that happens, modern operating systems like Android and iOS are playing a more prominent role powering the devices people use in their personal and professional lives. But what many people don’t realize is that protecting these devices is much different from protecting traditional endpoints and requires a new approach.”

Zimperium has more than 7,000…