Lidl owner buys Israeli cybersecurity player XM Cyber

23 Nov 2021

Image: © NicoElNino/Stock.adobe.com

European retail giant Schwarz Group has snapped up the start-up for a reported $700m.

One of the biggest retail groups in the world is expanding the tech side of its business, acquiring Israeli hybrid cloud cybersecurity start-up XM Cyber.

Schwarz Group, which owns Lidl and German grocery chain Kaufland, said the deal would help it prepare for “future challenges regarding IT security”.

XM Cyber’s technology aims to prevent cyberattacks across on-premises and multi-cloud networks by discovering attack paths like a hacker would and helping organisations close security gaps before systems are compromised.

The Israel-based start-up will continue to operate independently and under its current brand following the deal, which is reported to be worth $700m.

“XM Cyber brings deep technical understanding and innovation that perfectly complements our portfolio for advanced cybersecurity services,” said Christian Müller, chief information officer of Schwarz Group.

“Finding and closing security gaps from an attacker’s perspective is a disruptive approach to the way organisations 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.”

Schwarz Group is one of the largest retailers in the world by revenue and is the biggest player in Europe.

The deal is expected to complement the Germany-headquartered retail group’s growing digital business, which includes online shopping and loyalty programmes.

XM Cyber was founded in 2016. It most recent funding deal was a $17m Series B round in July 2020, which brought its total funding to $49m.

Noam Erez, the founder and CEO of XM Cyber, said joining Schwarz Group would give the start-up the potential to expand further.

“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,” he said.

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Sarah Harford is sub-editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com