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The deal will continue Barracuda’s move toward cloud based security solutions.

Mail backup and security vendor Barracuda Networks has been sold by its private equity owner to KKR, another private equity firm. According to Blocks and Files, this deal gives “an indication of late-stage startup life after an IPO had been ruled out.”

Barracuda is a cloud-first provider of cybersecurity solutions for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). More than 200,000 customers worldwide use Barracuda to protect their email, networks, applications, and data, according to KKR.

The company was acquired for $1.6 billion in November 2017 by Thoma Bravo, a private equity investment company. Thoma Bravo has now sold it to KKR for an undisclosed sum. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit, and real assets, and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds.

Barracuda CEO Hatem Naguib said:  “We‘re grateful to Thoma Bravo for their valuable strategic and operational support over the last four years.” Chip Virnig, a partner at Thoma Bravo, also commented: “Barracuda has been a tremendous partner over the last four years and has experienced strong product, customer and revenue growth. We have enjoyed working closely with Hatem and his team through multiple acquisitions and operational improvements, and we are confident that the company is well-positioned for continued success.”

TIP: Thoma Bravo wants to acquire Darktrace.

Transitioning from on-premise to cloud-based

When it was bought by Thoma Bravo, Barracuda was a $400 million run-rate business. Financial analyst Jason Ader said at the time: “For Barracuda, we believe the Thoma Bravo acquisition is probably the best scenario for shareholders, given skepticism regarding the company’s ability to transition the business from on-premises appliances to cloud-based solutions and recent margin challenges.” Thoma refocused the business on public cloud security along with network security (firewalls) and small and medium business customers.

“We are excited to complete this transaction and begin working with the Barracuda team to support their continued growth and delivery of next generation cloud-first cybersecurity solutions that protect SMEs from an evolving landscape of threats,” said John Park, a Partner at KKR.