Blackberry buys artificial intelligence firm Cylance for $1.4bn

The Blackberry logo located in the front of the company's B building in Waterloo Ont. on Tuesday

BlackBerry has announced it will acquire Cylance, an artificial intelligence and cybersecurity company, for $1.4bn (£1.1bn) as part of efforts to expand its autonomous auto software unit QNX.

Shares of BlackBerry rose following news of the deal, and closed up 1.46 per cent on Friday in Toronto, at $11.82.

Under Chen, BlackBerry, which dominated the smartphone market a decade ago, has shifted to selling software to manage mobile devices, as well as areas such as driverless cars.

The all-cash deal is set to complete early next year, with BlackBerry saying that it expects Cylance to operate as a separate business unit within the company.

BlackBerry says that the acquisition of AI-based cybersecurity firm, Cylance, will complement its entire technology portfolio. Cylance is having around more than 3500+ active enterprise customers, which has been considering filing for a stock market floatation according to a report which has been revealed.

Cylance develops artificial intelligence products that help to prevent cyberattacks on companies.

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"I'm very excited about today's news because this acquisition did two things for us", said John Chen, BlackBerry's executive chairman and chief executive.

Cylance's approach to security uses mathematical models rather than signatures to detect breaches and compromises. Blackberry believes that the acquired capabilities from Cylance will strengthen their position in the enterprise market, specifically providing better security and privacy across their platform.

"Our highly skilled cybersecurity workforce and market leadership in next-generation endpoint solutions will be a ideal fit within BlackBerry", Stuart McClure, Cylance's co-founder, chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

The AI technology will be used to accelerate the development of BlackBerry Spark, a "secure chip-to-edge" platform that protects communications. BlackBerry Spark enables organizations to comply with stringent multi-national regulatory requirements. Notable Cylance customers include Panasonic, Intermedia, the Boy Scouts of America, and BJ's.

The private company and its approximately 900 employees, according to BlackBerry, can typically identify and analyze threats 25 months before they emerge.

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