Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division has bought anti-bot firm White Ops from venture capital (VC) firm Paladin Capital — which first invested in the bot and malware fraud specialist in 2014. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Goldman partnered with fellow investors ClearSky Security and NightDragon to make the deal; advised by Momentum Cyber.
The acquisition comes on the back of Goldman’s May 2020 investment in the business, and as it claimed that White Ops has has grown its customer base 40% in 2020. Among White Ops’ specialities is tackling advertising fraud and account takeovers: it claims to process over 10 trillion interactions per week with 300+ algorithms to verify there is a human on the other end.
The company was founded in the bricks-and-mortar bookshop of co-founder Ash Kalb, who set up science fiction publishing company Singularity&Co in DUMBO, Brooklyn, and used it as the “secret headquarters” of Reversity Ventures, an early Silicon Alley incubator. (Expect White Ops to have a different name very soon).
CEO and co-founder Tamer Hassan said: “When I left the Air Force to build technology after 15 years of service, people told me that I would never find the same type of team and mission. It’s a common feeling for those who leave the military for the private sector: to long for the camaraderie that comes from being part of a group of highly skilled people with a common and deep-seated mission. I feel exceptionally lucky to have found both at White Ops,” adding “we’ll continue our efforts to ensure that our company name reflects our core values, which are shared by our friends at Goldman Sachs, ClearSky, and NightDragon. Look for more news on our new company name in the first quarter of the new year.”
White Ops says that it differentiates between bot and human interaction in online advertising and publishing, enterprise business networks, e-commerce transactions, financial systems, and more, “allowing clients to remove and prevent fraudulent traffic and activity.”