• 06 Dec 2016 4:01 PM | Anonymous

    This article first appeared in the Denver Business Journal.

    The IPO of Denver-based cybersecurity company Optiv Security Inc. has been canceled and it will stay privately held after private equity firm KKR became the majority owner of the business.

    Optiv and New York City-based KKR announced a definitive agreement for the purchase Tuesday morning. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    Dan Burns, CEO and co-founder of Optiv Security Inc.Dan Burns, CEO and co-founder of Optiv Security Inc.

    The purchase reverses Optiv’s plan to go public on the New York Stock Exchange in coming weeks. The company filed IPO paperwork last month with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Optiv sells consultation services as well as cybersecurity products that it or 400 partner companies create. It says it’s the largest company of its kind focused on solely cybersecurity.

    KKR is buying the majority of Optiv from its existing private equity owners, including Blackstone, a large private equity company also in New York City. Blackstone retains a minority stake in Optiv following KKR’s purchase, the companies said.

    "This new investment from KKR will enable our company to better help global clients address their full range of cyber risk and security needs in a customized and integrated fashion," said Dan Burns, CEO and co-founder of Optiv. "We are excited about this agreement and look forward to working with KKR to become the world’s most advanced, most comprehensive and most trusted partner for cyber security solutions.”

    Prior to selling the controlling stake to KKR, Optiv was poised to be the first major IPO in Denver tech circles since Boulder-based Zayo Group.

    Now it's the latest example of large private equity funds making big investments in Denver tech companies.

    “We have been following the cyber security sector very closely over the past several years and believe Optiv represents an attractive investment opportunity given its market leadership as a critical partner and advisor to the Global 1000,” said Herald Chen, co-head of KKR’s technology, media & telecom investment team. “For KKR, this investment is premised on partnering with an awesome management team to build Optiv into a global security powerhouse by accelerating investment in Optiv's product and service capabilities and expanding its presence across the U.S. and internationally."

  • 21 Nov 2016 4:13 PM | Anonymous

    This article first appeared in the Denver Business Journal.

    Denver-based cybersecurity company Optiv Inc. has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to become a publicly traded company.

    The filing on Friday puts Optiv in line to be the first major IPO in Denver tech circles since Zayo Group, a Boulder-based business telecom, went public in the fall of 2014.

    Optiv plans to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol “OPTV.”

    The company declined to comment about the public stock offering.

    Optiv’s SEC document includes no detail yet about timing of the IPO, how many shares Optiv will offer for sale, the shares’ anticipated price range, or how much the company expects the stock offering to raise.

    The company employs more than 1,700 people, 244 of them in Denver, and has offices around the country.

    Optiv sells consultation services as well as cybersecurity technology it creates and products from 400 partner companies to businesses seeking help securing their computer networks. It says it’s the largest company of its kind focused on solely cybersecurity.

    “We believe this gives us an edge in detecting threats and protecting our clients and that our clients and vendor partners recognize our leading position and value our expertise,” Optiv’s IPO filing said.

    Optiv has more than 7,500 clients in 76 countries and is five times larger in sales than its next-largest comparable competitor, the company says.

    The company was created in July 2015 from the merger of Denver-based Accuvant and FishNet Security, of Kansas City.

    Dan Burns, co-founder of Accuvant, is the CEO of Optiv Inc.

    Optiv is 58 percent owned by Blackstone, a large private equity company. Investment firms Investcorp and Servica own 24.6 percent and 7 percent stakes in the business.

    Optiv lost $5.6 million on revenue of $972.6 million in 2015, according to unaudited results in the company’s SEC filing. In 2016, through Sept. 30, the company posted $643.8 million revenue, down about 1 percent compared to the first nine months of 2015.

    Optiv acquired three other companies since April, which its SEC filing says cost a combined $39 million cash plus $2 million worth of stock in the company.

    The investment houses underwriting the Optiv IPO include Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Citigroup, Blackstone Advisory Partners and Raymond James.

  • 15 Apr 2016 9:53 AM | Anonymous

    More than 20 corporations are in Denver today to address a significant issue facing Colorado companies and consumers of healthcare: cybersecurity. Colorado's first-annual Health IT Cybersecurity Summit, hosted by SecureSet, Prime Health and Western Cyber Exchange, was designed to address cybersecurity risks within the healthcare industry. Deborah Blyth, chief information security officer (CISO) for the State of Colorado, is kicking off the event at 8:30 a.m. this morning.

    Specific topics at the summit include:

    • Healthcare information threats
    • Information vulnerabilities
    • Actionable mitigation strategies
    • Security for digital health start-ups
    • Improving healthcare operations
    • Addressing business risks

    "Cybersecurity is radically under-recognized in healthcare today, yet it is one of the most critical areas of health IT because of patient privacy laws, the transition to electronic health records, and the increasing use of cloud technologies in the delivery of healthcare," said Alex Kreilein, chief technology officer for SecureSet, a cybersecurity accelerator and academy and one of the primary organizers of the event. "Our goal is to elevate the cybersecurity conversation to the boardroom, where it should be viewed a significant business operation, not simply an IT operation."

    The 100+ attendees of the Health IT Cybersecurity Summit will learn what actions healthcare providers, insurers, enterprises and entrepreneurs are taking to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of systems and solutions that serve the patient. After the conference, Zayo is hosting a networking event.

    "Healthcare is rapidly evolving beyond a simple doctor's visit into telemedicine, mobile apps, wearable tech, genomics, business intelligence, data analytics and much more," said Jeffrey Nathanson, CEO of Prime Health, a Colorado digital health collaborative with more than 1500 members. "All of these new technologies – if delivered correctly – can help us reduce healthcare costs, deliver better care with more positive outcomes and empower patients. However, smart, effective cybersecurity must be built into every piece of the puzzle or all this innovation will be useless, or even dangerous."

    The event takes place today at SecureSet's headquarters at 3801 Franklin Street in Denver. Details including the line-up of speakers and the agenda for the Health IT Cybersecurity Summit can be found at

    About SecureSet
    SecureSet is the nation's first cybersecurity accelerator and academy. Headquartered in Denver and supported by experienced and prestigious leaders in government, business, military and higher education, SecureSet is bringing an array of cybersecurity resources together to help innovate the next generation of cybersecurity technology, and educate thousands to fill the nation's cybersecurity job gap. Learn more at

  • 04 Sep 2015 4:08 PM | Mike Fleck (Administrator)

    The 22nd Annual ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS 2015) will be held in Denver, Oct 12-16 2015 at the Denver Marriott City Center. ACM CCS is the flagship annual conference of the Special Interest Group on Security, Audit and Control (SIGSAC) of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). It brings together information security researchers, practitioners, developers, and users from all over the world to explore cutting edge ideas and results. From its inception, CCS has established itself as a high standard research conference in its area.  This year’s CCS event continues this long tradition with a very strong technical program comprising 12 technical sessions, 3 tutorials, 28 posters/demos, 10 specialized pre- and post-conference workshops and talks by distinguished invited speakers (Dr. Edward Felten, Deputy Chief U.S. Technology Officer and Dr. Moti Yung, Google and Columbia Univ.).

    More information about the conference is available at

  • 13 Aug 2015 2:22 PM | Anonymous

    UBS is giving away thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of coaching to fintech entrepreneurs and startups that can help it with technology.

    The Swiss bank has launched a competition dubbed "The Future of Finance Challenge", a global search for startups that can help it improve key areas. 

    UBS is after startups working in 4 areas — client experience, products, efficiency, and security. They're pretty broad so the bank shouldn't be short of applicants.

    UBS says it's "looking for innovative and potentially disruptive technological ideas and solutions that will support the transformation of the banking industry."

    Winning entrants will receive up to $50,000 (£32,000) in cash, with $125,000 (£80,000) up for grabs overall. Startups will also get mentoring from top UBS executives. Business Insider revealed last month that the bank's chief information officer Oliver Bussmann, who runs tech globally, has been personally mentoring fintech startups in London.

    UBS say that through the "Future of Finance" competition it will help entrepreneurs "commercialise and scale their ideas and technologies by leveraging on [UBS's] significant global presence [and] deep expertise in global banking."

    But why is UBS doing all this? CIO Bussmann sums it up in the emailed statement, saying: "Digital disruption is driving an unprecedented transformation of our industry and radical new technologies present a unique opportunity for a step-change to our client offerings."

    The subtext is: upstarts are using technology to do things faster and smarter than we can, so we need to harness their expertise to improve what we do before our customers jump ship.

    Since the financial crisis cheaper technology, a distrust of banks, and layoffs at finance companies have created the ideal conditions for a wave of innovation in finance. Things like peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding, and new payment technologies have exploded over the last few years.

    Businesses like Funding Circle and TransferWise, not even around when 2008 blew up, are now worth over $1 billion (£640 million) and are chipping away at discreet parts of banks' businesses. When you look at the hundreds of other startups aiming to eat into different parts of the banks, you realise it's big problem.

    In the past, banks would have simply developed rival products and tried to compete the upstarts out of existence. But onerous compliance requirements since the 2008 crash mean banks are in most cases too slow to keep up with nimble rivals.

    There's a growing realisation that the best thing for banks to do is to buddy up with smart, young businesses to learn what they can from them and do what's best for the customer.

    Amy Nauiokas, a former banker turned founder of fintech investment firm Anthemis, expressed this to me when we spoke recently.

    She believes there's a "changing tide in technology for financial services that is coming in a large part away from the banks", and says: "Banks are appreciating that the pace of change is such that it matters to look externally."

    Anthemis has backed innovative fintech startups like social trading platform eToro and Climate Corporation, a company that provides insurance for farmers based on weather data and sold to US agrochemical giant Monsanto for $1.1 billion (£700 million) in 2013. It was also an early investor in online property portal Zoopla.

    Nauiokas says: "I think where you’ll see the success stories is with banks and financial institutions that recognise they can’t do it all, but instead identify the areas in technology reform where they do have an edge and partner with someone to do the rest. That’s going to be a model that will be very successful for some financial institutions."

    That's exactly what UBS is doing. Barclays is too, through its partnership with accelerator TechStars on a fintech specific programme in London. And Santander is also hoping to tap into the expertise of startups through not one but two venture capital funds targetting fintech.

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