WhatsApp row: Company that backed NSO has an ‘India connection’

WhatsApp lawsuit reveals how non-public equity companies play key roles in the boom of surveillance tech companies. NSO cofounders did a basic administration buyout of the organisation from San Francisco-based PE company Francisco Partners.
The lawsuit filed by using Facebook-owned WhatsApp towards Israeli cyber technology organization NSO Group has now not solely printed surveillance of lawyers, journalists and activists but also the position played by using non-public fairness funds in the growth of the enterprise that often functions in a gray zone.
NSO cofounders Shalev Hulio and Omri Lavie did a traditional administration buyout of the corporation from San Francisco-based PE association Francisco Partners the usage of the economic muscle of London-based Novalpina Capital for $1 billion. Francisco Partners made about eight times the $120 million it paid to buy the organisation 5 years before. Although it had announced the sale on February 14, 2019, in a press release, that communication is no longer visible on its website. It is, however, phase of the files in the WhatsApp swimsuit in opposition to NSO filed in a California court docket October 29 for allegedly hacking its servers and systems.
Francisco Partners was once co-founded in 1999 by means of former TPG Capital major Dipanjan ‘DJ’ Deb alongside with David Stanton, every other senior TPG executive, who left the company in 2005 as managing partner, and others. Francisco Partners is generally said to be technology-focused, with a penchant for surveillance technological know-how groups in the growth stage. According to those who comprehend the company, Francisco Partners “typically buys promising organizations for less expensive and helps them grow, before aiming for a large return”.

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