Apperian Just Got Acquired — Say Hello to Its New Leader

The startup's investors included Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Intel Capital

Over the winter holiday break, Mark Lorion probably didn't get to relax as much as everyone else. After all, he had just become the new leader of Apperian, a Boston mobile app management and security startup that had raised about $40 million from investors, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Intel Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners.

The reason he was taking the lead role? Apperian agreed to be acquired by San Francisco mobile app and IoT security company Arxan Technologies — a deal that was officially announced Wednesday — and Lorion was next in line after its former CEO, Brian Day, decided to step down to pursue a new venture. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Apperian will remain in Boston, where it has "a few dozen" employees and will continue to hire.

"The application security and management capabilities Apperian provides are pivotal for organizations to securely deploy and manage their apps and we’re excited to offer our customers Apperian’s [mobile app mangement] products," Joe Sander, CEO of Arxan, said in a statement. "This acquisition puts Arxan in a unique position with the strongest and most comprehensive solution for enterprise application protection and management for both mobile and IoT.”

So yeah, with Arxan closing the acquisition and Lorion charged with leading Apperian's transition as its new president and general manager, Lorion, who's also co-founder of Boston TechJam, could probably use an extra coffee if you see him.

"Basically by the middle of December, I was responsible for the company," Lorion told me. He was previously Apperian's chief marketing and products officer, having originally joined the company in November 2012 as its CMO. Before that, he was a marketing executive for Palo Alto-based TIBCO Software.

"It’s exciting. I've been in the trenches with these guys for a long time. We have the battle scars and trophies to show it," he said of his team at Apperian. "I'm happy to be in the trenches with them."

Lorion is taking over from Day, who left after being CEO for two years and became CFO of Cambridge cloud communications startup Fuze in December. Day had joined Apperian as its CFO in 2011 and was promoted to CEO in 2014.

"He orchestrated and completed the acquisition and then transitioned the Apperian reins over to me," Lorion said. "Arxan liked my customer and product experience and felt that I would be able to lead Apperian."

Day told me he decided to step down because he while he enjoyed being CEO of Apperian, he didn't "really want to be a president of a division of another company." Day said Fuze had been courting him to join for a while so he took the acquisition as an opportunity to join Fuze, an IPO candidate whose valuation is reportedly nearing $1 billion.

"Apperian is in great hands with Mark," Day said, adding that he recommended Lorion to Arxan CEO Joe Sander. "Between Apperian's tech and Arxan's salesforce, they got a good deal."

Apperian began exploring the idea of getting acquired by Arxan about four or five months ago, according to Day. The company was originally looking for a potential partner to expand its business, but after speaking with Arxan, whose majority stakeholder is Boston private equity firm TA Associates, the two decided they could complement each other's business.

While Apperian provides mobile app management and security for enterprise customers, Arxan focuses on that space from a consumer perspective. Lorion said both companies were hearing from customers that they were interested in the consumer or enterprise spaces, which signaled to Apperian and Arxan an opportunity to cross-sell each other's products.

For instance, a large company that uses Apperian to deploy and secure apps on the mobile devices of employees and contractors might want to have similar security capabilities for consumer apps on a variety of devices.

"Apperian does a great job at securing apps in the enterprise — apps used by employees, contractors" for example," Day said of the two companies' strengths. "What Arxan does a great job is securing apps that are publicly available.  No one wants their banking app hacked. If you think about it, it’s a pretty good fit."