Jonathan Geller, reporting for BGR:
According to our source, after many months of planning, Apple plans to deploy 1Password internally to all 123,000 employees. This includes not just employees in Cupertino, but extends all the way to retail, too. Furthermore, the company is said to have carved out a deal that includes family plans, giving up to 5 family members of each employee a free license for 1Password. With more and more emphasis on security in general, and especially at Apple, there are a number of reasons this deal makes sense. We’re told that 100 Apple employees will start using 1Password through this initiative starting this week, with the full 123,000+ users expected to be activated within the next one to two months.
This is a big deal for sure, but let’s not put the cart before the horse when it comes to acquisitions. There’s quite a bit of information within this report regarding Apple deploying 1Password to employees, but there isn’t much evidence to say with certainty that an acquisition is in the works.
Here’s the relevant paragraph:
AgileBits’ annual revenue is said to be around the $5 million to $10 million range, and our source told us the company would most likely sell for two to three times revenue. Could Apple just be kicking the tires before diving in? Possibly, but it would seem unlikely at this point. Either this deal is the actual acquisition, structured in a way that provides additional annual revenue for a set number of years, or there’s something else going on. Jeff Shiner, the CEO of AgileBits, was overheard talking about the “Apple acquisition” in the glass conference room in the company’s Toronto office recently, but we have no firm details on what the context was or any specifics of the potential deal. We have reached out to both Apple and AgileBits for comment.
This might be the beginnings of an acquisition, but given the evidence presented, the claim is a bit weak. I think it would be wise for BGR to add “may be” to their headline.
However, if this is the beginnings of an acquisition and it goes half as well as their purchase of Workflow, it’s going to be great for users of Apple products.
Update: AgileBits has denied rumors that an acquisition is in the works through their 1Password Twitter account:
Rumours of my acquisition are completely false. My humans and I are happily independent and plan to remain so.