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FireEye, Backed By Private Equity, Acquires XDR Security Company Respond Software


FireEye, backed by a new private equity investment from Blackstone, has acquired XDR (extended detection and response) company Respond Software for $186 million in cash and stock, exclusive of assumed unvested stock options.

This is M&A deal number 480 that MSSP Alert and sister site ChannelE2E have tracked so far this year. A full list of deals can be found here.

The deal surfaces the same day that FireEye disclosed that it received a $400 million strategic investment led by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities. The investor is well-known for making earlier moves in Cloudreach (2017) and PayPal (2015), among many others.

FireEye Acquires Respond Software: Security Deal Details

Respond Software develops Respond Analyst, an XDR engine that "accelerates cyber investigation and response by automating the correlation of multi-sourced attack evidence using cloud-based data science models that ingest data from a comprehensive set of security technologies," the buyer says.

FireEye will tuck Respond's technology into the Mandiant Advantage platform, bringing "vendor-agnostic XDR and investigation capabilities that integrates with any customer environment," the buyer says.

Ahead of the deal, Respond Software had been walking a fine line in the cybersecurity channel — seeking to displace some MSSPs even as it lined up MSPs and VARs for its partner program. Software integrations have also been important -- including connections to Splunk and Palo Alto Networks.

Respond Software was venture backed. The company in 2019 raised $20 million in Series B funding led by growth equity firm ClearSky Security. By September 2020, there were signs of partner program progress.

FireEye Buys XDR Software Company: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the acquisition, FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia said:

“With Mandiant’s position on the front lines, we know what to look for in an attack, and Respond’s cloud-based machine learning productizes our expertise to deliver faster outcomes and protect more customers. This creates a learning system with new capabilities that will enable us to expand our Mandiant portfolio and drive new XDR revenue through our Mandiant Advantage platform.”

Added Respond Software CEO Mike Armistead:

“Customers rely on our XDR engine to investigate more alerts, at a deeper level, for far less cost than existing processes and tools. Respond’s product dramatically reduces time spent investigating false positives as it connects the dots among siloed, multi-vendor security controls in an easy-to-deploy cloud-based package. Now coupled with Mandiant’s world-class threat intelligence and incident response expertise feeding our models, customers can be confident the most up-to-date and relevant attack tactics and techniques are recognized and appropriately escalated. This results in more coverage, faster resolution of incidents, and ultimately, less risk at lower cost.”

Rumors about a potential FireEye financial event have surfaced off-and-on for several months. Some chatter in February 2020 suggested Cisco may acquire FireEye but that rumor was unfounded.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.