tenCube To Be Acquired By McAfee

Gwendolyn Regina T
9:49 am on Jul 30, 2010

WaveSecure LogoMcAfee, the security juggernaut, has signed a “definitive agreement” to acquire Singapore-headquartered mobile security firm, tenCube, with the acquisition expected to close within the month. We have been covering tenCube since the company first won Start-Up@Singapore (2006), to launching WaveSecure (2007), to chatting with tenCube CEO Darius Cheung at a Nokia summit (2009) to its most recent accolades in Silicon Valley. This time, we are happy to have received news about this pending acquisition.

With the WaveSecure locate, lock, back-up and wipe technology, Trust Digital‘s enterprise mobility management (McAfee acquired Trust Digital two months ago), McAfee will be able to “deliver the industry’s most complete next generation mobility platform”.

Mobile devices have become an extension of our lives. Through this acquisition, McAfee can broaden its security capabilities and offer users protection and remote control of the phone whether it is in their possession or not. This means no more worries about the whereabouts of your phone or losing personal contacts, photos or messages,” Darius Cheung, CEO of tenCube.

WaveSecure is currently available in English, Mandarin and Bahasa Indonesia but McAfee will be expanding the language support when the acquisition is complete.

You may be interested to know that Darius Cheung was with the SGE team and wrote a brilliant piece titled The Gold Digger’s Pants back in 2006. I won’t ruin it for you, but it has a great takeaway, something it seems Darius himself has made sure he followed.

  • http://twitter.com/M0T0chan James Chan

    Congrats Darius old boy. Happy for you ;-).

  • John

    nice :)

  • 11a

    Any guess on valuation?

  • Entrepreneur

    Good news to finally hear that a local tech company has been incubated , developed and sold. We need more success stories like this one in order to inspire and develop our community of technopreneurs.

    The only questions I have are about the deal. I hope that Darius and team are keeping enough upside for themselves. My major concern about all these deals is whether the entrepreneurs themselves got a good deal out of the experience. It is easy to get excited about the brand names, the acquisition and of course big press coverage. But when the dust settles, what’s the situation.

    To recap, Tencube is a 5 year old company. Revenue is neglible at <$500K for 2009 and I am sure it is still loss making. They have taken in 1M in feb 2010 from Indian firm valuing them about 4-5M SGD. Earlier, they took in 400K from SEEDs and I believe founders prob put in 100-200K. Via all these exercises the key founder is prob diluted to about 14-16% stake max.

    My educated guess is that Mcafee paid anything from SGD$5M-10M but I think the guess of 7-8M or US$5M is prob quite accurate. 40% return for Indian firm for ½ year work.

    Using US$5M, key founder share is worth about 700K-800 USD. Not bad for a 29 year old but hardly anything to retire with. For 5 years work, it means about 160K US per year. Don’t forget I am sure they probably took low salaries last 5 years. Make no mistake, SEEDS, the Indian fund etc are happy. They get to exit with profit. Eg. Seeds & NUS S$400K now worth about 1.4M SGD that is about 300-400% in 5 years for nonfull-time involvement. Indian fund makes at least 40% for 6 mths work.

    Which brings me to the upside bit for founders. If my guesstimate is not too off, then Darius and team should lock in more upside by negotiating performance deals. Mcaffee obviously sees good potential in what WaveSecure has. So why not negotiate to continue working and then take a good cut of future profits from WaveSecure?

    Of course, my guesstimate could be wrong and Wavesecure is super valuable and Mcafee paid US$20M for it. Then Darius gets about 3.2-3.5M USD. Almost enough to retire depending on the person but I think a very good deal for 5 years work for one so young!

    All in all a great story. I hope to read much more such stories in the years ahead. And perhaps one where the founders gain the lions share!

  • Simon

    also, TenCube was named a Asia Finalist in 2007 for the Global Security Challenge – an international competition that awards annually $500K to the winning technologies. (http://www.globalsecuritychallenge.com)

  • Miss-Tan

    Hey! This is great news!

    First it was ShowNearby at $6.6M now it is TenCube. Singapore Companies are doing us proud! Wait-a-go guys!

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