By Light Professional IT Services was founded in 2002 as a small family business and has since expanded to a large organization with more than 2,000 employees. By Light serves government customers in the Defense, Intelligence and Federal Health sectors and provides solutions in artificial intelligence (AI); cloud and managed services; communications; cyberspace operations; IT services; live, virtual constructive (LVC) training; modeling and simulation (M&S); and software services.
Expansion into LVC, M&S and Cyberspace
In May 2017, By Light was acquired by private equity firm Sagewind Capital. With this backing, By Light has since acquired six companies to add talent in AI, M&S, gaming, LVC cyber training and exercises, systems engineering, and cloud and managed services. These acquisitions operate as wholly owned subsidiaries and include:
- Axom Technologies – In February 2018, Axom merged with By Light and originally operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Axom added depth in IT services as well as customer footprints in Fort Meade, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), and other DoD customers.
- Phacil – In March 2019, By Light acquired Phacil, a provider of software, cybersecurity, systems engineering and managed services. Phacil delivers mission-critical IT services, including the modernization of IT systems, networks and data centers; the implementation of cloud and other managed services to support web applications, infrastructure and project management; cybersecurity threat identification, vulnerability testing and systems monitoring.
- Metova Federal – In May 2019, By Light acquired cyber range and cyber training services provider, Metova Federal. The company offers CyberCENTS®, a cyber training, exercise and mission qualification platform to support agencies in multi-domain environments.
- Cole Engineering Services (CESI) – In October 2019, By Light acquired CESI, an LVC training and analysis developer, integrator and services provider. CESI develops simulation-based systems for military missions and has experience developing interoperable distributed simulation architectures for engineering and training environments.
- Raydon – In November 2020, By Light acquired Raydon, a simulation platform company that designs, develops and manufactures virtual, adaptable integrated military training technology.
- Veraxx Engineering – In July 2022, By Light acquired Veraxx, a systems integrator providing IT, training and simulation platforms and cyberspace operations to federal and commercial clients. This includes flight simulation training devices and exercises for its customers, such as customized flight training devices, hardware and software, and ongoing maintenance and customizations as the platform and military training mission evolves.
Presence in the VA and DoD
By Light was originally formed by veterans and has a significant history working with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and DISA. Through its acquisitions, the company expanded its customer footprint throughout DoD, including gaining work with the U.S. Army, U.S Navy and U.S. Air Force. A sample of relevant contracts include:
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), My HealtheVet DevSecOps– In May 2022, By Light was awarded a five-year, $82 million ceiling value contract to continue supporting the development and expansion of the electronic health portal for the VA. This ensures veterans have access to health care communications and are coordinated with caretakers and providers.
- U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), GIG Services Management-Engineering, Transition, and Implementation (GSM-ETI) – Since 2012, By Light has received $341 million in obligations across 11 task orders on the GSM-ETI small business set-aside award. This includes a recent task order to provide global engineering support to DISA’s Infrastructure Directorate for all elements, layers and gateways of the DISN infrastructure to include an IP-based and optical switch infrastructure, leveraging encryption over terrestrial and undersea fiber optic networks, as well as military and commercial satellite communications.
- U.S. Department of the Army, Cyber Training, Readiness, Integration, Delivery and Enterprise Technology (TRIDENT) – In December 2021, CESI (a By Light company) was awarded an eight-year, $958 million ceiling value IDIQ to help the U.S. Army develop and maintain a new cyber training environment. CESI provides the management, integration, maintenance and evolution of the Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE) platform and provides total system life cycle support for the PCTE system baseline. PCTE provides a standardized training platform enabling the end-to-end planning, preparation, execution and assessment of training events for the Cyber Mission Force and the entire DoD cyber workforce.
Corporate investments…it’s tool time!
By Light also develops products and solutions focused on security, communications and training to enhance its offerings to government clients. Notable technologies include:
- CyberCENTS®– An integrated, LVC cyber range environment permitting closed network engagements or use of a VPN for engagements with multiple interconnected environments. The emulated operational environment interacts with the virtualized and physical elements of the system providing true-life system response. As mentioned above, this comes from the acquisition of Metova Federal.
- EmberSec™– A division of By Light offering services and solutions designed to assess and defend an enterprise. EmberSec is comprised of a team of senior security researchers, operators and intelligence professionals that provide services from vulnerability discovery to risk management and mitigation.
- Mission Reconfigurable (MR)™ Simulation Platform– This can support training from individual to mission rehearsal and can be configured to train crews operating ground vehicles, aircraft, naval vessels or construction equipment. This comes from the acquisition of Raydon.
The FedSavvy Strategies Takeaway
- By Light’s private equity backing allowed the company to grow substantially through acquisitions.
- Given the fact that By Light was bought in 2017, it is likely that a major M&A event will occur soon so that Sagewind can make their exit…will this go to another private equity or a strategic buyer?
- By Light’s business has grown from its core focus of providing IT and cyber services to the VA and DISA to now developing simulation-based systems for military missions and training through its acquisitions of Metova Federal, CESI, Raydon and Veraxx Engineering.
- Despite entry into new markets, the company maintains their footprint in the federal healthcare space, supporting the VA across projects related to IT modernization and streamlining healthcare services.
- By Light has recently picked up new work across the DoD service branches related to LVC training and simulation-based systems, which will likely remain a significant goal for the company as demonstrated through their acquisitions and technology investments.
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