Kaprica Security, a U.S.-based mobile security firm, announced on October 28 that Samsung Electronics has acquired its spinoff “Tachyon.”
Virginia-based Tachyon is an enterprise mobile device configuration and development software developer. Moreover, the company provides data management services that allow firms and institutions to exchange data one another fast and safely. It has a variety of customers, including the federal law enforcement like the Department of Defense (DoD), and hospitals and vehicle fleets in the U.S. and Europe, according to Kaprica. The financial terms of the acquisition are not being disclosed.
Samsung Electronics will acquire Tachyon’s existing customers as well. The company plans to combine its own Knox mobile security system with Tachyon’s solutions to improve the safety further and take the lead in the mobile B2B market that requires a strong data security, Kim Jong-shin, vice president of the global mobile B2B team at Samsung Electronics, said, “Tachyon is a game changer in the enterprise mobile market.”
The B2B mobile sector is a new market Samsung Electronics is paying attention to. According to the data from Transparency Market Research (TMR) last month, the global B2B smart device and software market, which amounted to US$86.36 billion (98.93 trillion won) in 2014, will stand at US$510.39 billion (584.65 trillion won) in 2022 with an annual growth of 24.7 percent. Samsung Electronics developed the Knox in order to close security vulnerabilities of Android, an open-source operating system (OS) used in its smartphones. However, Apple’s iPhones, which use a closed-source OS, has a higher share in the B2B smart device market than Samsung Electronics.
In particular, Samsung Electronics’ takeover of Tachyon is attracting more attention as it was announced a day after Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong has become a registered member of board of directors. Industry sources say that Lee, who has started the responsible management in earnest, is pursuing aggressive M&As in a bid to maintain the position of the world's largest smartphone maker that is shaking due to the discontinuation of the Galaxy Note 7. Samsung Electronics has recently acquired U.S. artificial intelligence (AI) platform developer Viv Labs Inc. to secure the voice recognition-based AI technology.
However, market watchers say that it is regrettable that Samsung Electronics has not made a mega M&A deal yet that can be a game changer. They point out that the company needs big M&A deals worth tens of trillion won in order to get its future growth engines, such as automotive electronic equipment and virtual reality, back on the track at a heat. An official from the investment banking industry said, “Samsung Electronics seems to be passive in big M&A deals after it failed to acquire AST in 1995.”
Under the current circumstance, other global companies are pursuing mega M&A deals. Qualcomm, a U.S.-based system semiconductor maker, has acquired NXP Semiconductors, which produces semiconductor chips for automobiles, for US$47 billion (53.84 trillion won) to seek out its new growth engine. Samsung Electronics has reportedly put the brakes on its push to acquire Fiat Chrysler's automotive electronic parts division Magneti Marelli for US$3.5 billion (4 trillion won) as the company scrambles to deal with its Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.