Australian-born online fraud detection start-up, ThreatMetrix, has been acquired by the UK’s Relx Group in a cash deal worth £580 million (A$1.01 billion).
ThreatMetrix was founded in Australia in 2005, and subsequently moved its headquarters to San Jose, California.
The company's co-founder and chief products officer, Alisdair Faulkner, along with fellow co-founder, entrepreneur and long-time board member, David Jones, both hail from Australia.
During the past 13 years, the business has made a name for itself thanks largely to its proprietary online fraud detection and authentication technology, which analyses connections between devices, locations, anonymised identity information and threat intelligence.
Relx Group claims ThreatMetrix’s Digital Identity Network analyses over 100 million transactions per day across 35,000 websites from 5,000 customers, housing one of the largest repositories of online digital identities in the world, encompassing 1.4 billion unique online identities from 4.5 billion devices in 185 countries.
The acquisition deal with Relx Group, the London-headquartered information and analytics company formerly known as Reed Elsevier, will see ThreatMetrix become part of the group’s Risk & Business Analytics unit, which is housed under the LexisNexis Risk Solutions brand.
Headquartered in Atlanta, US, the LexisNexis Risk Solutions business unit focuses on fraud and authentication, applying advanced analytics to physical identity attributes, including identity credentials, addresses and asset ownership.
While LexisNexis Risk Solutions, which focuses on fraud and authentication, already has an established commercial partnership with ThreatMetrix involving the start-up’s device intelligence solutions, the acquisition will substantially bolster its technology standing.
Indeed, the deal will see further integration of ThreatMetrix’s capabilities in device, email and social intelligence and is expected to help build a more “complete picture of risk in today’s global, mobile digital economy”, and provide both physical and digital identity solutions.
“LexisNexis Risk Solutions and ThreatMetrix enter into this agreement with a joint vision to leverage our combined understanding of digital and physical identity,” ThreatMetrix CFO, Frank Teruel, said in a blog post. “Together we can help businesses of all shapes and sizes accelerate growth, improve customer experience and profitability, and slash fraud.
“We believe that the upside for our customers and partners is compelling, and today’s announcement is the first step in the next exciting chapter for our company – and the identity space as a whole,” he said.
As noted by media outlet, TechCrunch, the combination of LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ existing portfolio and ThreatMetrix’s technology stack could result in the creation of a global cyber security player with the nous to compete with the likes of FireEye and Palo Alto Networks, among others.
While the acquisition remains subject to customary conditions and regulatory consents, it is expected to close during the first half of 2018.