Startups

Here’s how ZeroFox’s first weekend as a $1B+ publicly traded company went, in its CEO’s words

The Baltimore-HQ'd cybersecurity company's James Foster talked about the days since he solidified ZeroFox's publicly traded status by ringing the closing bell at the Nasdaq.

ZeroFox CEO James Foster (center) smiles while celebrating ringing the Nasdaq stock exchange's closing bell on Aug. 4, 2022.

(Photography courtesy of Nasdaq, Inc.)

Nearly eight months after it announced its intent to go public, the Baltimore-anchored cybersecurity company ZeroFox officially commemorated its current life as a publicly traded company with CEO James Foster ringing the Nasdaq’s closing bell on Thursday.

The company started out strong: Shares opened at $10 before going up nearly 30% to $13.50 as of about 3 p.m. that Thursday, per the Baltimore Business Journal (BBJ). On Monday, those same shares hit $14 in the morning before dropping down to $11.46 as of 4 p.m.

Foster, who appeared in the Nasdaq’s Thursday video being showered in red ticker tape after the bell’s ringing, said that he and his colleagues were “pleased with the performance” of the company’s stock throughout its first weekend. He attributed at least some of this performance to other industry action that he thought was boosting the cybersecurity industry overall.

“We think some of this is early investor receptivity to what we believe is a unique and compelling investment play in external cybersecurity,” Foster told Technical.ly via email. “However, we also think it’s a result of some improvement in sentiment around tech stocks in general and the fact that the cybersecurity group continues to hold up well, with recent earnings reports showing that demand remains solid despite some macro pressures. Certainly, last week’s acquisition of Ping Identity by private equity firm Thoma Bravo was a positive for the cybersecurity sector as a whole.”

(Here’s more on recent stock market trends, and that Ping Identity acquisition.)

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Foster’s own company went public via the acquisition of Portland-based digital privacy company IDX, as well as a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called L&F Acquisition Corp. Going public via a SPAC, which is essentially a company that exists only to raise funds that help private companies go public, allowed ZeroFox to avoid some of the regulations that accompany more traditional initial public offering (IPO) processes. Foster said that going with the SPAC route over an IPO one “was a perfect fit for our goal to become a public company, raise growth capital and simultaneously execute on our strategic acquisition of IDX.”

“We are different from many of the other companies that have gone public via SPAC,” he added. “We have a large, healthy existing customer base with blue chip customers worldwide in finance, tech, retail, manufacturing, and others. We have meaningful revenue and a solid business model with strong financial performance over the years.”

BBJ also reported that ZeroFox received a $180 million investment from a group led by Monarch Alternative Capital. Going forward, James told the BBJ that ZeroFox (formerly known as Riskive) aims to increase its current $1.7 billion valuation to $10 billion. While he couldn’t provide projections on when its revenue would get to that next benchmark, he did note that ZeroFox is “the first external cybersecurity company to go public.”

Several of ZeroFox’s 700-plus reported employees, according to a media rep, are heading to Las Vegas for this week’s Black Hat USA cybersecurity conference. Those employees are spread between the company’s South Baltimore HQ and offices in Portland; London; Bangalore, India; and Santiago, Chile.

Companies: ZeroFOX
People: James Foster
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