Twitter announced this week that it acquired Dasient, an Internet security start-up focusing on anti-malware for large enterprises in the financial services, media, and online sectors. Dasient’s scanning software helps businesses identify and contain malware on the Web and is touted as an anti-malvertising service, which claims to protect advertising networks and publishers from malware. Deal value was not disclosed.
We wrote last summer about the increased focus on social media security and venture investments in the space. Since then, there have been four acquisitions of social media security vendors (including Dasient): Whisper Systems/Twitter, Unsubscribe.com/TrustedID and Garlik/Experian. These deals represent the first M&A activity Signal Hill has tracked in the area.
Dasient’s acquisition will allow Twitter to provide anti-malware technology to its ever-growing, real-time information network. Dasient’s technology will become part of Twitter’s revenue engineering team, which suggests its will most likely be used to identify malicious ads submitted through the company’s self-serve ad platform, Twitter’s latest attempt at increasing monetization. Three-year-old Dasient, which was founded by ex-Googlers, had raised $2 million in investments from Google Ventures, Floodgate and Radar Partners.
Twitter has had a number of issues over the years with scams and spam, and recently fell victim to a number of high-profile account hacks, including Fox News and Lady Gaga, and has been bulking up on its security offerings. In November, Twitter also acquired Whisper Systems, a provider of enterprise-grade security on Android devices. Its products included WhisperCore, a system which integrates with the underlying Android OS to protect everything on the phone, as well as TextSecure, which allows for secure texting by storing them in an encrypted database on your phone and the ability for encryption during transmission.
With the Dasient acquisition leading the way, we expect social security deal activity will accelerate this year as more social media leaders grow and ultimately decide to go public.