Invictus Growth Places Initial Bet on Cybersecurity Firm Axiad

January 25, 2021


By: Wall Street Journal

The early-stage investor is backing authentication software maker Axiad with a $20 million commitment

Invictus Growth Partners, a growth-equity investor focused on technology deals, is betting on rising demand for secure identification and authentication systems with an investment in Axiad Holdings Inc.

The firm is acquiring a minority stake in the Santa Clara, Calif.-based cybersecurity company for $20 million, according to a person familiar with the situation. Founded in 2010, Axiad’s cloud-based technology to provide systems access without passwords is used by hundreds of organizations.

The growth investment is the first outside capital for Axiad, whose founders Bassam Al-Khalidi and Yves Audebert have bootstrapped the business from the outset, helped by a positive cash flow for the past 10 years, according to Mr. Audebert. He and Mr. Al-Khalidi are co-chief executives as well as industry experts in secure identification and multifactor authentication systems.

Axiad’s technology helps companies manage cybersecurity risks and compliance and maintain operational efficiencies. Its systems are used by government agencies, health-care providers and financial firms as well as other types of organizations, according to the company’s website.

The capital from Invictus will go toward accelerating sales and marketing efforts as well as financing further product development, according to a news release. John DeLoche and William Nettles, co-founders and managing partners of Invictus, are joining Axiad’s board of directors.

The network security market, which includes cloud security companies, is set to grow to $9.3 billion by 2023 from around $6.2 billion last year, according to research firm PitchBook Data Inc. The research company has said that developers of authentication and identification technologies are likely to attract investment in the expanding market.

Axiad represents the inaugural deal for the San Francisco firm’s debut investment vehicle, Invictus Growth Fund I LP, which had a first close with $75 million in November. The firm is seeking $200 million for the fund, which received an anchor commitment from Archean Capital Partners, a joint venture between investment advisory firm Veritable LP and investment management services company Moelis Asset Management LP.

Messrs. DeLoche and Nettles formed Invictus in May 2019. Their strategy targets growth investments in cybersecurity, financial technology and automation-enabled cloud software companies.


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Harpreet Mangat, [email protected], 408-941-5130