Irishman sells his tech firm to Miami Dolphins owner in $30m deal

Billionaire buys cybersecurity firm Skout from Aidan Kehoe, who hails from Laois

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross of RSE Ventures, a VC firm that has just purchased cybersecurity company Oxford Solutions, which will be renamed Skout Secure Intelligence. Photograph:  Getty Images

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross of RSE Ventures, a VC firm that has just purchased cybersecurity company Oxford Solutions, which will be renamed Skout Secure Intelligence. Photograph: Getty Images

 

An Irishman has sold his New York-based technology company to the owner of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins for a reported $30 million (€24.3 million).

Oxford Solutions, a cyber security company which is to be rebranded as Skout Secure Intelligence, has been acquired by RSE Ventures, a VC firm founded in 2012 by Stephen M Ross and Matt Higgins which typically backs sports and entertainment firms.

Oxford Solutions was established by Aidan Kehoe, who hails from Co Laois, in 2012 shortly after he sold his previous business Oxford Global to Willis Towers Watson for an undisclosed sum.

Skout has $8 trillion in assets under protection and typically manages some 20 million real-time alerts each day.

The newly-named company provides cyber security monitoring to more than 800 clients globally.

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Mr Ross is a billionaire with a net worth of $12 billion and was previously named “the most powerful person in New York real estate” by the New York Observer.

He is chairman and founder of Related Companies, a real estate firm that has developed over $22 billion in property and owns property valued at over $20 billion.

Aidan Kehoe, who hails from Co Laois, has just sold his cyber security company, Oxford Solutions, for a reported $30 million
Aidan Kehoe, who hails from Co Laois, has just sold his cyber security company, Oxford Solutions, for a reported $30 million

Hudson Yards

The businessman, who is also the principal owner of the Miami Dolphins, is best known for developing the Time Warner Center and Hudson Yards, the largest private real estate development in the history of the US, which covers 18 million sq ft of commercial and residential space.

Mr Ross and Mr Higgins are to join the renamed company’s board following the acquisition.

“Steve Ross and Matt Higgins have an incredibly strong investment track record, and I am delighted that they have chosen to work with us,” Mr Kehoe told The Irish Times.

“Being an Irish person in the US has been great for business and I am immensely proud of what our team has built so far. We are now moving onto the next chapter and with a partner of RSE Ventures’ calibre in place, I am excited about what we can build together. With our investment plans, we will scale the business at pace in the US and across Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” he added.

Mr Kehoe began his career by working in a variety of different sectors including hospitality, transport and financial services, before ending up in IT. He has served as a board member of both public and private equity-backed companies throughout the US, Canada, and Europe.

Portfolio companies

Mr Higgins said RSE Ventures was drawn to investing in cyber security following conversations with their portfolio companies.

“We are hearing a consistent message from our portfolio: there is a gap in the marketplace for a company that serves the needs of small to mid-sized businesses, makes cyber security understandable, reassures business leaders about their security, and addresses the severe lack of human engagement in the industry. That’s what led us to Skout,” said Mr Higgins.

“Skout will make investments to advance their technological platform to enable an ecosystem that makes cyber security for small and medium-sized businesses accessible and easy to use. They will do so through automation and orchestration, machine learning, voice recognition, and other capabilities to provide the highest level of protection,” he added.