In April, George Kurtz, CEO of CrowdStrike, the second-most valuable cybersecurity firm, traveled to Israel to meet with a number of startups it could invest in or acquire. Kurtz and his team spent most of their time holed up in a hotel in an ancient port city that abuts Tel Aviv—a veritable Mecca of cybersecurity engineers and companies—where they took meetings. Kurtz wanted to minimize speculation about potential deals by avoiding the startups’ offices, according to someone with knowledge of his thinking.
The silence lasted three months. In July the Israeli news site Globes reported that CrowdStrike was planning to acquire an Israel-based cybersecurity startup for $2 billion, but it didn’t name an acquisition target or reference the visit by Kurtz. Rumors have flared since then, and the CEO of at least one of the Israeli startups Kurtz has spoken to this year, Orca Security, felt compelled to post on LinkedIn that his company wasn’t in talks to be acquired by CrowdStrike.