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Mobile specialist Jamf places big bet on zero trust network access with $400m purchase of Wandera

May 13 2021
by Garrett Bekker, Fernando Montenegro


Introduction


One of the key trends emerging from the pandemic has been the broad rethinking of how to provide network and security services for workforces that are primarily remote. According to a recent survey, zero trust is one of the top three security technologies being implemented due to increased work-from-home requirements, with 49% of respondents planning to deploy it within 24 months.

It's no surprise, then, that zero trust network access (ZTNA) has become a hot topic in security, reflected in a growing number of zero trust-driven deals. The latest is Apple-centric mobile device management (MDM) vendor Jamf, which has placed a hefty bet on zero trust by acquiring mobile data management and security provider Wandera for $400m.

Snapshot Snapshot

Acquirer

Jamf

Target

Wandera

Subsector

SASE / ZTNA

Deal value

$40om (cash and debt)

Date announced

May 11, 2021

Closing date, expected

Q3 FY 2021

Advisers

None disclosed

The 451 Take

By adding Wandera, Jamf is the latest company to attempt to bridge endpoint and mobile security with remote access, in a conceptually similar fashion as Ivanti (via the purchases of MobileIron and Pulse Secure) and Absolute Software (NetMotion). Jamf's products now span mobile threat defense, DNS security, secure web gateway (SWG) functionality focused on mobile devices, and, now, zero trust network access (via Wandera's Private Access offering). The move should enable Jamf to establish a foothold in the emerging secure access service edge (SASE) market, of which SWG and ZTNA are core components. The broad rethinking of network and cloud security under the banners of ZTNA and SASE is drawing in vendors of different stripes, setting the stage for a much wider range of competition from larger, established network and security firms bearing SASE-centric messages. Jamf will potentially look to address other pieces of the SASE puzzle (CASB, SD-WAN, etc.) at some point, either via further M&A or possible partnerships.

Deal details


Jamf is paying $400m in cash for Wandera, with $350m upfront and the remainder deferred until later this year. Wandera generates annual recurring revenue of about $25m, implying a multiple of 16x TTM sales – notably higher than Absolute's pickup of NetMotion for roughly 6x. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of Jamf's fiscal 2021, and be accretive to the buyer's earnings by the end of 2022.

As noted, the dynamics surrounding remote access were accelerated by COVID-19, as organizations needed to review their remote access choices given a much larger proportion of users connecting remotely, and from a variety of devices. That said, ZTNA is itself closely associated with the broader industry move toward SASE, with the caveat that ZTNA is just one of the core components typically associated with SASE: SWG, cloud access service broker (CASB), firewall as a service, and software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) are considered the key pillars of a SASE deployment.

Target profile


Wandera was founded in 2012 by brothers Eldar and Roy Tuvey, who had previously launched one of the earliest SaaS-based web security vendors, ScanSafe, which was acquired by Cisco in 2009 for $183m, according to 451 Research. The company is headquartered in London, with offices in San Francisco and Brno, Czech Republic (where most R&D is performed). It has raised just over $50m from Bessemer Ventures, 83North and Sapphire Ventures, and has 240 employees, up from 200 at the time of our last report.

In terms of products, Wandera views itself as providing 'unified cloud security for the mobile enterprise,' with offerings that span endpoint security and threat defense, a DNS policy engine, and secure web gateway functionality focused on mobile devices. Its latest initiative was the introduction of a ZTNA product called Wandera Private Access that provides secure remote access to on-premises, cloud and SaaS applications.

Acquirer profile


Jamf is based in Minneapolis and was founded in 2002. After being acquired by Vista Equity Partners in 2017 for $734m, the company went public on the Nasdaq in July 2020. It has approximately 1,600 employees, with locations in the US, Europe and Asia. Jamf focuses on unified endpoint management (UEM) specifically for managing Apple devices, including phones, tablets, computers, set-top boxes, and more. It has a partnership with Microsoft to handle Windows devices.

According to the 451 Research, the vendor printed three small acquisitions while under Vista Equity ownership: NoMAD (Apple systems management software), ZuluDesk (MDM) and Digita Security (endpoint security for MacOS). It also bought Mondada last year for patch management.

Competition


The competitive field includes a long list of startups and established security providers in the mobile security space and, more recently, the ZTNA and SASE segments. In mobile device security, Jamf likely encounters BlackBerry, Microsoft, VMware (AirWatch) Ivanti (MobileIron), IBM, Citrix, Lookout, Tanium, HCL and Sophos.

Technology and security vendors with ZTNA/SASE offerings include but are not limited to Palo Alto Networks, Check Point Software (via the acquisition of Odo Security), Fortinet (OPAQ Networks), Cisco, Juniper Networks, VMware, Google, Microsoft, Proofpoint (Meta Networks), Zscaler, Forcepoint, Ivanti (PulseSecure), Akamai (Soha Systems), Cloudflare, Broadcom (Luminate Security), Verizon (Vidder), Barracuda, and others. More specialized companies addressing ZTNA include Appgate, Banyan Ops, Safe-T, StrongDM and Zentera, while SASE-focused firms include Acreto, Aryaka, Cato Networks, Menlo Security, Netskope, Perimeter 81 and Versa Networks.