API startup Noname Security nears $500M deal to sell itself to Akamai

Noname Security, a cybersecurity startup that protects APIs, is in advanced talks with Akamai Technologies to sell itself for $500 million, according to a person familiar with the deal.

Noname was co-founded in 2020 by Oz Galan and Shay Levi and is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, but has Israeli roots. The startup raised $220 million from venture investors and was last valued at $1 billion in December 2021 when it raised $135 million in a Series C led by Georgian and Lightspeed. While the sale price is a significant discount from that valuation, the deal as it currently stands would be for cash, the person said. The deal is not final and could change or not happen at all.

Other investors who have backed Noname include Insight Partners, Forgepoint, Cyberstarts, Next47 and The Syndicate Group.

While the potential deal price is half the valuation than Noname’s last private valuation, those who invested at the early stage will receive a meaningful return from the sale. Meanwhile, the deal should allow the later stage investors, particularly those who invested in the last round, to get a full return on the capital they put in, if not the profit that they hoped for during those heady days of 2021 when money was flowing and valuations were optimistic.

The deal values the company at about 15X annual recurring revenue, the person said. Noname’s approximately 200 employees are expected to transition to Akamai if the sale closes. 

Akamai declined comment. A Noname Security spokesperson told TechCrunch, “As a policy, we refrain from commenting on rumors or speculation.”

The Information reported in January that Noname was trying to raise another financing round at a substantially lower valuation. In February, Israeli news outlet Calcalist reported that Noname was in negotiations with several potential buyers, including Akamai.

Many VC-backed companies that raised capital at the height of the tech boom saw their valuations crater after the US Fed raised interest rates. Many are now simultaneously looking for buyers and a new round of funding, known in the finance world as a dual-track process. Meanwhile, many later-stage VCs are looking for liquidity after more than a year of a frozen IPO market. So, the general mood in the venture industry is that, if robust IPOs don’t return soon, it will be bargain shopping time for M&A activity.

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