F5 will acquire Shape for a total enterprise value of approximately $1 billion in cash, subject to certain adjustments. Shape protects the largest banks, airlines, retailers, and government agencies with sophisticated bot, fraud, and abuse defense. In particular, Shape defends against credential stuffing attacks, where cybercriminals use stolen passwords from third-party data breaches to take over other online accounts.
Shape has built an advanced platform, utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. It is supported by cloud-based analytics to protect against attacks that bypass other security and fraud controls.
This acquisition brings together F5 Networks’ expertise in protecting applications across multi-cloud environments with Shape’s fraud and abuse prevention capabilities. Shape’s application protection platform evaluates the data flow from the user into the application and leverages sophisticated cloud-based analytics to discern good traffic from bad.
With F5 Networks’ location in the data flow of traffic in over 80% of Fortune 500 application infrastructures, F5 would provide an ideal insertion point for Shape’s security services.
“We know from the companies we work with that applications are critical to running their business,” said François Locoh-Donou, President and CEO of F5 Networks. “To drive maximum business value and the best experiences for their customers, these apps need to perform flawlessly while protecting data security and user privacy. When a website or application experience is degraded by web fraud and abuse, the result is lost revenue, lost brand equity, and customers jumping ship to the competition.
“With Shape, we will deliver end-to-end application protection, which means revenue generating, brand-anchoring applications are protected from the point at which they are created through to the point where consumers interact with them – from code to customer,” added Mr. Locoh-Donou. “Beyond opening a fast-growing $4 billion adjacent market, Shape’s machine learning and AI-powered capabilities will scale and extend F5’s broad portfolio of application services and expand our ability to optimize and protect customers’ applications in an increasingly complex multi-cloud world.”
“Since Shape’s inception, we observed a consistent pattern in customer after customer: the use of F5 technology to deliver and enable their applications,” said Derek Smith, co-founder and CEO of Shape. “Now, we look forward to the opportunity to deeply integrate into F5’s platform for application delivery and security – F5 Networks provides the optimum traffic flow insertion point for Shape’s industry-leading online fraud and abuse prevention solutions. This, combined with F5’s global go-to-market scale, means we can jointly protect significantly more customers’ applications and users from sophisticated attacks and malicious traffic.”
Upon closing of the acquisition, Derek Smith and the leadership team will join F5 in key management roles. Shape will remain located in their current Santa Clara headquarters.