Completing a Highly Transformative Sell-side Cybersecurity Acquisition

Nehemiah Security, Inc. ("Nehemiah") is a leading-edge cyber risk quantification platform that enables customers to understand cyber risk from "the inside out" by analyzing and calculating loss exposure, probability of loss, and financial impact of attacks on business units, assets, and the broader enterprise.

The Situation

The shareholders and management team of Nehemiah were looking to complete a full sale of the business and hired Ascend due to our deep expertise in software, as well as the cybersecurity and risk management ecosystem. We shepherded Nehemiah through the entire lifecycle of the transaction:

  • Organizing and preparing the Company for a sale including a bottoms-up financial model, detailed cross-sell and upsell analysis for each buyer, and KPI deep dive analysis along with positioning and marketing materials
  • Conducting outreach efforts by developing a bespoke universe of prospective buyers and facilitating communications with each group
  • Creating a competitive environment to maximize price and terms
  • Soliciting and negotiating letters of intent
  • Managing the due diligence process
  • Liaising with the buyer’s advisors to close the transaction
  • Software & Technology
Client Type
  • Owner/Founder
Services Provided
  • Sell-Side Transactions
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The Strategy

After defining the "ideal buyer" with Nehemiah, we developed a limited universe of prospective buyers with a known interest in risk quantification software. Based on the specific interests and gaps of prospective buyers, we then curated materials and analysis specifically targeted for that audience with a goal of building competitive tension through scarcity of time (setting hard dates and milestones) and value (one-of-a-kind asset that will trade to a competitor).

The Execution

Unknowingly, we faced an uphill battle as COVID struck right after launching the marketing process. However, our positioning of Nehemiah, extensive connectivity in the space, and disciplined approach enabled us to successfully solicit multiple LOIs from various buyers during the height of the pandemic.

The Results

Nehemiah’s shareholders were able to optimize structure and price because they received multiple LOIs from credible buyers…despite selling a business in one of the most difficult markets in recent history. Ultimately, we closed a transaction with ThreatConnect and Providence Equity within 60 days of signing an LOI and 5 months from the onset of launching the marketing process. Well exceeding the shareholders expectations on valuation and timing. The acquisition was highly transformative to the cybersecurity industry by creating the world’s only cybersecurity platform aligning the entire security lifecycle to the goal of reducing risk.

The Ascend Advantage

Deep relationships within software private equity and cybersecurity, combined with buy-side experience working in a principle investing capacity alongside blue-chip funds, enabled our team to appropriately position Nehemiah for sale. We knew what buyers and investors would look for in an attractive asset and prepared marketing materials and custom analysis for each buyer to help cast vision around a potential combination.

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