Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division has acquired cybersecurity company White Ops from Paladin Capital Group, Grotech Ventures, and other shareholders.
The acquisition occurred in partnership with cyber solutions provider ClearSky Security and venture capital firm NightDragon. The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
White Ops hopes the acquisition will support the company’s next phase of growth and further accelerate its expansion into new markets, as more move to advertising and selling online.
The company grew the number of customers it serves by 40% and employees of the company grew by 25% to 170, in the past year.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as financial advisor to White Ops. Legal counsel was provided to White Ops by Cooley LLP.
White Ops worked with Google to stop the 3ve malware scheme that hit more than 1.7 million computers and resulted in $29 million in payments for fake digital ads.
The scheme also involved the U.S. Department of Justice. In this scheme, defendants used malware-infected computers to run automated ad-fraud schemes without users’ knowledge or consent.
In February 2019 at the IAB Leadership Summit in Phoenix, Per Bjorke, senior product manager at Google, brought the scheme to the attention of advertisers, agencies, publishers and platform providers. He told them how the company had worked with White Ops in November 2019 to uncover a digital ad-fraud scheme called 3ve, and asked for their help.
Stopping the widespread attack, no doubt, caught the attention of Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division, along with the fact that its invalid traffic detection and filtration (SVIT) services for desktop and mobile ad fraud are accredited by the Media Rating Council.