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December 20, 2019

F5 Networks Acquires Shape Security

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Today, nearly every U.S. citizen has had their personal information stolen or known someone who has been a victim of a data breach. Cyber criminals use these stolen credentials to imitate real people online using bots. In 2011, Derek Smith, Sumit Agarwal and Justin Call founded Shape Security (Shape) and invented the world’s first botwall to protect people and businesses against automated attacks on websites and mobile applications.

We first invested in Shape in 2014, leading its $40M Series C funding round, which closed about a month after the company came out of stealth to launch its first product. From day one, we deeply believed in the team and their approach to eliminating fraud and restoring trust online. The founding team had the determination, discipline and unique expertise needed to tackle this problem from their prior roles fighting cybercrime at the Pentagon, Google, and other leading security companies. Additionally, they started applying AI and machine learning to their platform far before it became the norm, which has given them an advantage since the very beginning.

Over the years, it has been incredible to watch them expand the product platform, hire amazing talent and secure customers including some of the world’s largest banks, airlines, retailers, and government agencies. Shape’s fraud prevention platform currently detects and blocks up to 1 billion fraudulent transactions daily, while keeping 200 million legitimate human logins and other interactions safe.

Today we are thrilled to share that Shape Security has entered an agreement to be acquired by F5 Networks (F5). This acquisition brings together Shape’s fraud and abuse prevention capabilities to transform application security with F5’s expertise in protecting applications across multi-cloud environments. Together, they will offer organizations more comprehensive, end-to-end security.

At Norwest, we have been privileged to invest in several cybersecurity companies (Agari, FireEye, Exabeam, Dtex) and see many successful exits with our most recent being Aporeto to Palo Alto Networks last month.

We are lucky to have had the opportunity to partner with the fantastic team at Shape and will be cheering them on as they continue their journey with F5.