Insight Partners sells security firm Checkmarx to Hellman & Friedman for $1.15B

Ron Miller and Zack Whittaker
Businesswoman discussing with female colleague over coding on computer at desk in creative office

Checkmarx, an Israeli security company acquired in 2015 by private equity firm Insight Partners with an $84 million investment, was sold today to Hellman & Friedman, another private equity firm at a valuation of $1.15 billion. Nice little profit there, and the company will continue to hold a minority investment in the firm.

Checkmarx is one of a handful of Israeli security firms held in high regard across the cybersecurity industry. The company made its millions in application testing, helping developers detect and understand bugs, flaws and other compliance issues. But the security firm has raised its name through its research arm, finding and reporting bugs in popular technologies — from smart watches to vacuums.

In total, the company has more than 1,400 customers, including 40% of the Fortune 500, according to information supplied by the company. These include SAP, Samsung and Salesforce.com.

The original executive team, including CEO Emmanuel Benzaquen and CTO and founder Maty Siman remain with the company. Private equity investors tend to appreciate that level of continuity in the leadership team. It's certainly something, along with the company's core mission, that caught the eye of Tarim Wasim, partner at Hellman & Friedman.

"As cybersecurity threats continue to intensify, we strongly believe that embedding security early in the software development lifecycle is critical," Wasim said in a statement.

"Only one company – Checkmarx – has the breadth of products, developer-centric DNA, and culture of relentless innovation to serve the entire software security market. We look forward to building on Checkmarx’s tremendous success to date and supporting the company’s rapid growth in the years ahead."

The deal is expected to close in the next few weeks, according to the company.

Checkmarx was founded in 2006. Prior to the 2015 Insight investment, it had raised $8 million on a $120 million valuation, according to PitchBook data. Today the company has more than 700 employees.