Channel investors, Content, EMEA, Europe

Cybersecurity Startup XM Cyber Acquired By Grocery Store Giant Schwarz Group

German retail giant Schwarz Group has acquired XM Cyber, a cybersecurity startup that develops an automated advanced persistent threat (APT) simulation and remediation platform. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This is technology M&A deal number 730 that MSSP Alert and sister site ChannelE2E have covered so far in 2021. See all technology M&A deals for 2021 and 2020 listed here.

Schwarz Group is best known for its food stores -- including Lidl and Kaufland. The retail giant has 500,000 employees in 33 different countries. But the business also operates a massive IT services group.

The grocery store giant will leverage XM Cyber's technology to further secure its own digital services, while XM Cyber will also remain a security product provider to third-party partners and customers, the buyer said. Read between the lines, and it sounds like Schwarz Group will leverage XM Cyber to protect its own supply chain, along with partner supply chains.

Grocery Store Giant Acquires Cybersecurity Startup: Business Details

XM Cyber is an Israel-based company that raised $22 million in Series A funding in November 2018. Then in 2019, XM Cyber was one of six cybersecurity startups selected to join Switzerland’s Kickstart program, an acceleration initiative designed to help startups break into the Swiss and European market.

Fast forward to 2020, and XM Cyber grew bookings more than 160 percent and more than doubled its clientele worldwide vs. 2019. Still, actual revenue dollar figures were not disclosed.

On the channel partner and MSSP front, key adopters included Cyber Guards, an MSSP and security testing firm that embraced XM Cyber for breach and attack simulation (BAS) and security posture management services, the MSSP indicated in November 2020. A Microsoft Defender security integration also arrived in 2020.

More recently, XM Cyber in 2021 announced distribution agreements with ITD Group and Cyber Fusion to reach partners in Russia and the United Kingdom, respectively.

The XM Cyber platform, as of 2018, supported:

  • Automated cyberattack vector reporting.
  • Cloud and on-premise deployment options.
  • Full mapping of cyberattack paths across an organization.
  • Insights into up-to-date cyberattack scenarios.
  • Real-time identification and remediation of IT-related risks.

Under Schwarz Group's ownership, XM Cyber will continue to operate independently, the buyer said. The deal complements the Schwarz Group's digital business models and associated security components, the buyer said.

Schwarz Group Buys XM Cyber: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the deal, Christian Müller, CIO of of Schwarz Group, said:

“XM Cyber brings deep technical understanding and innovation that perfectly complements our portfolio for advanced cybersecurity services. Finding and closing security gaps from an attacker’s perspective is a disruptive approach to the way organizations can proactively protect their networks. XM Cyber's solution builds on our strong IT security to further protect our customers, partners, and ourselves as a company.”

Added Rolf Schumann, chief digital officer of Schwarz Group:

 “We continuously extend our range of digital products for our customers, for example, our online shops, our marketplace, or our loyalty programs. With the solutions of XM Cyber, we offer our customers even more services and evolve the shopping and customer experience in a more holistic way."

Concluded Noam Erez, XM Cyber's co-founder and CEO:

“We are thrilled to become part of the Schwarz Group. With the backing and international footprint of the largest European retailer, we can accelerate innovation and growth and further strengthen our position in the global cybersecurity market. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our investors who have supported us along the journey in building this unique company.”

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.