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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


333 West San Carlos Street
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February 7, 2019 |

Carbonite Buys Webroot in Bid to Become Comprehensive Data Protection Leader

In addition to combining Webroot’s security portfolio with its own BDR and high availability products, the $618.5 million deals also merges Webroot’s extensive base of MSP partners with Carbonite’s VAR-heavy channel.

Carbonite Inc. has acquired security vendor Webroot Inc. for approximately $618.5 million in cash.

The deal positions Carbonite, which has been on an acquisition spree in recent years, to evolve from its current position as a maker of backup and high availability solutions into a provider of comprehensive data protection offerings. Carbonite expects the acquisition to close in the first quarter of 2019.

“The acquisition of Webroot dramatically accelerates our progress towards becoming the leading data protection company,” said Carbonite CEO Mohamad Ali in a press statement. “With threats like ransomware evolving daily, our customers and partners are increasingly seeking a more comprehensive solution that is both powerful and easy to use. Backup and recovery, combined with endpoint security and threat intelligence, is a differentiated solution that provides one, comprehensive data protection platform…The Webroot team has a passion for building technology to simplify the way customers protect their important data, and we are excited to welcome them.”

Webroot also brings an extensive base of MSP partners to Carbonite’s existing, VAR-heavy channel. “Webroot’s leading MSP partners and RMM relationships provide Carbonite with a new channel for increased scale and market expansion,” said Carbonite today in a press release.

Charlie Tomeo, Webroot’s vice president of worldwide business sales, addressed the implications of Webroot’s change of ownership for the vendor’s MSP partners in a statement emailed to ChannelPro.

“I’m personally thrilled for the opportunity ahead for both our MSP community and our RMM / platform partners,” Tomeo said. “While we are in the early stages of transition planning, I can share that our commitment to creating MSP-friendly solutions that are both easy-to-use and efficient will not change. The combined company will be able to offer a robust platform to help solve the cybersecurity issues facing businesses. I’m excited to arm this channel with a set of tools to face the escalating threat landscape of today, and tomorrow.”

Webroot is the latest of several acquisitions for Carbonite, which has been steadily expanding beyond its roots in consumer backup for the last three years. The company bought mid-market BDR vendor Evault from Seagate Technology LLC in January 2016, and then failover and data migration service provider Double-Take Software a year later. In March of last year it completed its roughly $145.8 million purchase of cloud backup vendor Mozy Inc. from Dell Technologies.

Webroot, for its part, has been building out a portfolio of security solutions based around its SecureAnywhere Business Endpoint Protection product and sophisticated threat intelligence engine, adding a DNS security solution in February 2017 (which it extended to cover guest Wi-Fi networks a year later) and an end user education solution via its acquisition of security awareness training vendor Securecast in August 2017.

The blockbuster Carbonite-Webroot transaction comes just days after Barracuda Networks Inc. announced a blockbuster deal of its own, acquiring the Managed Workplace RMM system from Avast Business in a deal that also made Barracuda a reseller of Avast’s commercial anti-virus products for the next three years.

Like Carbonite following the Webroot purchase, Barracuda makes both BDR and security solutions. Via its Avast Business agreement, it now also offers endpoint security tools, as well as a tool MSPs can use to manage all of those offerings.

Carbonite, by contrast, does not have an RMM solution of its own or integration pact with an RMM vendor. In a conversation with ChannelPro last summer, however, Norman Guadagno, the company’s senior vice president of marketing and channel chief, indicated that the company is interested in closing that gap.

“MSPs are looking for the best, easiest way to bring up a complete solution that includes data protection, RMM, and a bunch of other things all in one,” he said. “We’re keenly aware of that need and we’re trying to figure out how Carbonite can best play there.”

The path forward, he continued, is likely to include a combination of partnerships with other vendors in complementary product categories and additional acquisitions. “We’ve been very public about being a company that drives both organic growth and growth through M&A, and we’ll continue to do that as appropriate in the future,” Guadagno stated.

In the same ChannelPro interview, Guadagno discussed plans to devote more attention and resources to Carbonite’s most strategic resellers.

“We really were, for better or worse, trying to be all things to all partners, whether they were really small or really big, and that actually ended up being the worst of all possible worlds in some ways,” Guadagno said. “The more I simplify, the more resources I have to double down on a smaller set of partners that are really going to make or break this market for us.”

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