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WebPKI and Digital Signature related M&A + Investment + Public Offerings

  • This was inspired by Matt Suiche's great post on cyber security M&A related activity; there is some overlap but not much.
  • This is all public data.
  • I have also intentionally excluded sales of WebPKI key material, not only are these prices not public but they are usually very special cases that are in-essence impossible to compare effectively.
  • I have also included HSMs, Smart card, Digital signatures and CA related software companies in this list as it seems relevant.
Purchased Purchaser Date Price Structure Notes
GlobalSign KBC Banks and Insurance 1998 Unknown Investment 8%
Thawte Verisign 1999 575m Cash / Stock? Thawte was slowly eating at VeriSign's market share, was likely acquired to address this.
ValiCert Public Offering 2000 4,000,000 @ $10 Stock Sale OCSP responder, digital signatures, secure storage.
CyberTrust Baltimore Technologies 2000 150m Stock / Cash? Later sold to Verizon.
XCert RSA 2001 $67.5m Cash / Stock? Made a decent CA and OCSP responder, became Keon, RSA's CA.
Equifax GeoTrust 2001 Unknown Unknown The company formerly offered digital certification services, only this was sold.
Baltimore Technologies beTrusted 2003 Unknown Unknown It took place in 2 parts: First the Omniroot business was sold and then the whole PKI business was sold several months later. beTRUSTed purchased the OmniRoot business for a total consideration of £2.0 million (approximately $3.1 million) in cash. The total liquidation of the Baltimore business generated total cash proceeds of approximately £20.9 million.
ValiCert Tumbleweed 2003 14.3m Stock / Cash?
Chrysalis-its Rainbow 2003 20m Stock / Cash?
Rainbow SafeNet 2003 450m Unknown SafeNet HSM, Tokens all came from this.
CertPlus Keynetics 2004 Unknown Unknown Keynetics later become OpenTrust.
Digital Signature Trust IdenTrust 2004 Unknown Unknown Identrust Was later Aquired by HID.
UserTrust Comodo 2004 Unknown Unknown
Alacris Microsoft 2005 Unknown Unknown
AddTrust AB Comodo 2005 Unknown Unknown Was a Sweden based TSP, started in 2000, terms and origin of this deal are not clear.
Geotrust Verisign 2006 125m Cash? GeoTrust was fairly quickly eating away at VeriSign's market share, there was also at least one legal dispute between the two companies leading up to the purchase.
TC TrustCenter Chosen Security 2006 Unknown Unknown When VeriSign bought GeoTrust, it was decided that VeriSign did not want TC TrustCenter so they basically “gave” it to some of the former execs of GeoTrust which then started ChosenSecurity.
RSA EMC 2006 $2.1 billion Cash / Stock? PKI related business for RSA was fairly small.
CyberTrust Verizon 2007 Unknown Unknown
Secure Trust Trustwave 2007 Unknown Unknown
Utimaco Sophos 2008 314m Stock / Cash?
Tumbleweed Axway 2008 Unknown Unknown
Nectar Smart Card Technology HID 2008 Unknown Unknown
CoreStreet ActivIdentity 2008 20m Unknown OCSP Responder.
Entrust Thoma Bravo 2009 114m Debt, Cash? Typical growth equity structure.
nCipher Thales 2009 100m Debt, Cash?
Aladdin Knowlegde Systems Vector Capital 2009 160m Unknown
CertiCom RIM 2009 106m Debt, Cash? Possibly does not belong in this list, it was mainly a patent purchase but very close in nature.
Chosen Security PGP Corporation 2010 Unknown Unknown Terms were private.
PGP Corporation Symantec 2010 370m Cash / Stock?
ActivIdentity HID 2010 Unknown Unknown HID was making plays on converged logical and physical access control and thought this would help them in that.
Arcot CA Technologies 2010 200m Cash Arcot had a virtual smart card, some IPR around cryptographic camouflage and was a big partner in the Visa Payer Authentication solution.
Verisign Symantec 2010 $1.28 billion Cash / Stock? Verisign decided to focus on DNS business.
DigiNotar Vasco 2010 12.9m Cash / Stock? Bet they regret that. Poorly managed M&A.
TriCipher VMWare 2010 Unknown Cash / Stock?
EchoSign Adobe 2011 Unknown Cash / Stock?
DigiCert TA 2011 100m Cash? Private equity deal.
OpenTrust Keynetics 2011 Unknown Unknown Keynetics acquired Opentrust in 2011 and took over brand.
AfirmTrust TrendMicro 2012 Unknown Unknown Marketing suggested intended expansion into Enterprise and managed PKI scenarios.
NetLock Docler 2012 Unknown Unknown
Dictao Morpho 2012 Unknown Unknown Dictao were French e signature company.
Thoma Bravo/Entrust DataCard 2013 500m Cash? Theory is they have realized their growth goals or have plateaued based on nature of business?
CertiPath Crawley Hatfield Capital 2013 Unknown Unknown Private Equity Deal.
Cartavi DocuSign 2013 Unknown Unknown Expands their digital signature solution into real estate.
Identrust Polaris 2013 20m Unknown Private Equity Deal, 85% position.
Network Solutions 2013 405m + stock Unknown CA was small part of business.
SafeNet Gemalto 2013 890m Cash?
IdenTrust/Polaris HID 2014 Unknown Unknown
DigiCert Thoma Bravo 2015 700m incl, 345m debt Cash + Debt? Theory is they liked the Entrust deal and wanted to do it again, DigiCert better positioned than prior Entrust deal so going big.
Unizeto [1] [2] Asseco 2015 Unknown Unknown
Verizon DigiCert 2015 Unknown Unknown Just certificate business. They had a cross-sign from Verizon, immediately after buying them they started issuing customer-specific subordinates from DigiCert roots. Theory is that this purchased removed a royalty obligation and freed them from contract terms limiting their business. Regardless DigiCert is doing the Internet a solid as Verizon really missmanaged things
Trustwave SingTel 2015 810m Cash + Stock? CA is just small part of their business.
NagraId Oberthur 2014 Unknown Unknown
OpenTrust DocuSign 2015 Unknown Unknown DocuSign wants to enter EU market, acquisition of majority of OpenTrust is acknowledgement that without being a EU TSP they have little chance outside of process automation. Remainder of OpenTrust is renamed IDNomic.
ARX DocuSign 2015 Rumoured 40m Unknown
ECO-MIND APP FACTORY SRL InfoCert 2015 Unknown Unknown
StartCom WoSign 2015 13,000 USD Unknown Bankrupty in August 2015 and what looks to be (shaddy sale) of assets for 13k USD in December of the same year. Unrealstic given the value of those assets so something else likely going
Unizeto/Certum Asseco 2015-02-24 85% @ USD 6.29 mln Unknown Unknown
WiseKey Public Market 2016 Unbelievable Stock Sale Can't even begin to explain it.
Vormetric Thales 2016 375m EUR Unknown
AffirmTrust/Trend Datacard 2016 Unknown Unknown Theory is they struggled to integrate into their business and DataCard was a good synergistic place for the team and assets to land.
Silanis Vasco 2016 Unknown Unknown
Quovadis WiseKey 2017 85% @ USD19.7. USD13,000,000 cash plus 1,110,000 newly issued Class B Shares of WISeKey issued from existing authorized share capital, and paid off the indebtedness of QuoVadis in the amount of USD2,000,000. Unknown Unknown
Symantec Thoma Bravo 2017 $950 million in cash and a 30 percent stake in the DigiCert business Cash + Stock On recent earnings call they stated $180m operating income on $400m of PKI revenue, this put them at 10-12x EBITA.
Comodo Francisco Partners 2017 Unknown Unknown
Trustis Entrust 2017 Unknown Unknown
Gemalto Thales 2017 5.6 Billion Cash
CAMERFIRMA InfoCert 2018 InfoCert has acquired 51% of Camerfirma by underwriting a capital increase of Euro 3.1 million. InfoCert will fund the acquisition by utilizing internal resources. Cash?
Quovadis DigiCert 2018 45M (Figure and terms are from WiseKey CEO) Cash
nCipher Entrust 2019 Unknown Unknown
DigiCert Clearlake Capital Group and TA Associate 2019 Unknown Unknown
IDnomic Atos about to buy IDnomic 2019 Unknown Unknown
HydrantID HID buys HydrantID, Quovadis Reseller 2019 Unknown Unknown
Venafi Thoma Bravo 2020 Unknown Unknown Thoma Bravo Invests in Venafi @ 1bn valuation
Universign PSG 2021 Unknown Unknown PSG, a leading growth equity firm focused on partnering with middle-market software and technology-enabled service companies, today announced that it has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Universign
SecureTrust Sysnet Global Solutions 2021 80m Unknown Sysnet Global Solutions acquires SecureTrust
CertEurope InfoCert 2021 Unknown Unknown InfoCert finalizes the signing to acquire 60% of a majority stake in CertEurope

NOTE: Please let me know if you know of something I missed, my memory is only so good. Also corrections are always welcomed. Please do not post non-public information.


  • Entrust Technologies spin off from Nortel Secure Networks in 1994.
  • Verisign was founded in 1995 as a spin-off of the RSA Security certification services business.
  • Certplus was a spin-off from Gemplus (1999).
  • Certplus merged with PK7 in 2004 becoming Keynectis.
  • CyberTrust was formed (again) in 2004 by the merger of Betrusted and TruSecure.
  • Schlumberger -> Axalto (spin off) 2004.
  • Axalto + Gemplus -> Gemalto (merger) 2006.


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Alacris was acquired by MSFT for Smart Card token provisioning. I think it was integrated into MSFT Certificate Manager as a addon for Smart Card provisioning. - Key Nexus provided API driven Key Management. Acquired by StorMagic - primarily for data at rest encryption

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