Australia-founded digital identity company ThreatMetrix acquired by Relx Group for £580 million

- January 30, 2018 2 MIN READ

London-based Relx Group, a multinational analytics company, has acquired Australia-founded digital identity company ThreatMetrix for £580 million (just over $1 billion) in cash. The acquisition is expected to close within the first half of 2018.

Cofounded by Alisdair Faulkner, currently Chief Product Officer, David Jones, and Scott Thomas in Australia in 2005, ThreatMetrix expanded to the US in 2008, setting up its headquarters in San Jose. According to data from Pitchbook, the company was valued at US$237 million ($293 million) at its last equity funding round, a US$20 million Series E in 2014.

Working in the risk-based authentication space, its technology provides real time identification of high-risk digital behaviour and transactions through behavioural analytics combined with the analysis of connections among devices, locations, anonymised identity information and threat intelligence.

The company stated that its Digital Identity Network analyses over 100 million transactions per day from 5,000 customers across 35,000 websites. Its repository of digital identities holds 1.4 billion unique online identities from 4.5 billion devices across 185 countries.

Through the acquisition, ThreatMetrix will become part of Relx Group’s Risk & Business Analytics, which sits under the LexisNexis Risk Solutions brand; ThreatMetrix had an established commercial partnership with the brand.

Reed Taussig, president and CEO of ThreatMetrix, said working with the company over the past two years “fully demonstrated the strong synergies” between the organisations.

“The benefits our shared customers have realized from the integration of our respective products are unmatched in the industry,” he said.

“Over the past ten years the ThreatMetrix team has pioneered the digital identity space, and by combining the strength of LexisNexis Risk Solutions and ThreatMetrix into a single business, our customers, partners, and employees will benefit with a unique and compelling market opportunity.”

Mark Kelsey, CEO of Risk & Business Analytics, added, “ThreatMetrix is widely recognised as a leader in the digital identity space. Bringing that together with our own strengths in physical identity attributes will give our clients across all forms of commerce and geographies a more reliable, comprehensive approach to fraud and identity risk management while maintaining the privacy and security principles our customers have come to expect.

“The acquisition is in line with our organic growth driven strategy, supported by acquisitions of targeted data sets and analytics that are natural additions to our existing business.”

The acquisition is the largest for Relx Group in a while; the company last year completed eight acquisitions for a total of £123 million, and spent an average of £300 million per year for the previous five years.

Relx Group was originally known as Reed Elsevier, brought to life through the merger of British publishing company Reed International and Dutch scientific publisher Elsevier in 1992. The name change came in early 2015.

Image: Alisdair Faulkner. Source: ThreatMetrix.