Portugal’s Watchful Software acquired by US cybersecurity firm Symantec

American cybersecurity firm Symantec has acquired Portuguese security company Watchful Software. No terms of the deal, which closed in May, were disclosed.

Watchful Software makes data security and loss prevention solutions for businesses. It will now join Symantec’s DLP (Data Loss Prevention) group but staff and R&D will remain based in Coimbra, Portugal. It also has an office in New York for closer proximity to the financial sector, one of its main markets.

“They provide an important technology that will be an excellent addition to Symantec’s Integrated Cyber Defense Platform and will enhance our DLP solution,” said a spokesperson for Symantec.

Watchful Software is a spin out from Critical Software, a software engineering company founded in 1998. The latter has formed a number of spinouts, supported by its own Critical Ventures, with an eventual exit strategy.

“We were looking at opportunity to exit our investment at some time and the opportunity to do it with Symantec was very interesting for us because Symantec being Symantec it gives the Watchful technology and team huge potential. It’s a perfect fit with what Symantec has with DLP right now. For us, it was a no-brainer,” said João Carreira, chairman of Critical Group.

Symantec’s acquisition of Watchful, founded in 2012, is the first exit for this approach. “It’s a validation of this model that we put together where we incubate new businesses,” said Carreira.

“We have seven startups on our ecosystem that are supported by Critical Ventures. This is the first exit we’ve had and there are more to come.”

Watchful Software has also received investment from New York fund Hudson Fairfax Group but figures have not been disclosed.

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