Telefónica set for shopping spree after purchase of cybersecurity firm Govertis
Telefónica has purchased Valencia-based cybersecurity firm Govertis for an undisclosed fee, as part of a concerted buying spree. The company will be integrated into the Spain-based carrier’s digital-change unit, Telefónica Tech, and specifically its ElevenPaths cybersecurity sub-division. Telefónica said to expect more acquisitions in the “next months”.
The deal was on the cards. ElevenPaths has worked with Govertis since 2012, and acquired its GesConsultor management and regulatory compliance platform, now branded SandaS GRC, in 2015. Telefónica has held a stake in Govertis since 2018, via Wayra, its global open innovation startup hub. Govertis specialises in governance, risk and compliance (GRC) and integrated risk management (IRM). Its offer seeks to unify the legal and technological aspects of cybersecurity. The company has offices in Spain and Latin America, and “especially” in Ecuador and Peru.
Telefónica expects Telefónica Tech to generate €2 billion in new revenue by 2022 from selling an assortment of cybersecurity, IoT, analytics, and cloud services. It said it is looking at organic and inorganic growth to develop and deploy proprietary cybersecurity solutions across its security operations centres (SOCs). Telefónica Tech is in acquisition mode; new acquisitions are expected in the coming months, it said, to strengthen its position in Europe and Latin America.
ElevenPaths has 2,500 security staff. Income from security services totalled €497 million in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 26.5 percent.
The creation of Telefónica Tech, late last year, is arguably the most compelling shift in its parent’s bid for new growth and investors. It brings together digital businesses with high growth potential, and is tasked with driving digital change for the carrier’s enterprise customers. The unit is split into three businesses, selling cybersecurity, IoT and analytics (combined), and cloud services. Each division had been posting revenue growth of over 30 per cent, prior to being combined in a single consultancy unit.
Telefónica is working with the Spanish unit of Germany-based industrial provider Siemens to offer combined IT / OT cybersecurity for the Industry 4.0 sector in Spain, marrying their respective IT and OT security offers. Siemens is offering its digital industry solutions into the bargain, covering traditional industrial networking components, newer OT-based digital technologies, plus sundry consulting and auditing services.
Pedro Pablo Pérez, chief executive at ElevenPaths, said: “One of our goals is to constantly identify opportunities for cooperation and investment in prominent cybersecurity start-ups. Relying on Wayra enables us to remain close to entrepreneurial talent, reinforce our innovative capabilities and expand our range of services to our customers.”
Eduard Chaveli and Óscar Bou, the founders of Govertis, said in a statement: “This is the natural next step in a long-standing strategic relationship which, at this decisive moment of the digital transformation, when companies and the public sector need to be more resilient, is going to catapult us towards contributing to the growth of the GRC and IRM services and positioning Telefónica Tech as one of the most significant actors in cybersecurity, privacy and cyber- resilience strategy and management globally”, declared
Miguel Arias, global entrepreneurship director at Telefónica, said: “This operation provides an excellent example of how Wayra, as Telefónica’s interlocutor with the entrepreneurial ecosystem, can enable start-ups to form a joint business, a business with so much potential that, as in the case of Govertis, it can ultimately become fully integrated into the company.”