Cybersecurity company KnowBe4 raises USD300m in round led by KKR


Cybersecurity specialist KnowBe4 has raised USD300 million in a funding round led by global investment firm KKR, with significant participation from existing investors Elephant and TenEleven Ventures.  

This new infusion of funds, valuing the company at USD1 billion, is expected to be used for global growth initiatives and platform development, and builds upon KKR and Ten Eleven Venture’s initial investment in early 2019.
 
Despite phishing being a long-existing attack method, it still works. According to the 2018 VDBI, more than 90 percent of advanced and targeted attacks involved phishing and preyed upon the human element inside an organisation. KnowBe4’s market-leading platform is a proven way for companies to reduce their risk and support their investments in traditional IT security by creating an educated human firewall. 
 
“We built KnowBe4 to serve an important market need and it’s very, very gratifying to have reached this milestone as evidence that we’re doing what we set out to do,” says Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4. “Threats like phishing, ransomware and other forms of social engineering continue to plague organisations of all sizes, meaning the market for our security awareness training is growing at a rapid pace. The relationship we started with KKR earlier this year has been fruitful for both of us. This new round enables KnowBe4 to continue to focus on helping our clients build a human shield against cyber threats, while also accelerating KnowBe4’s roll out in new markets to help more companies around the globe.”
 
KnowBe4 has established itself as the clear leader in the space, with over USD100 million of recurring revenue, near triple-digit growth, and a customer base of over 25,000 organisations across all industries, including highly regulated fields such as finance, healthcare, energy, government and insurance. This success has enabled KnowBe4 to continuously invest heavily in its technology, the consistent delivery of fresh and highly relevant content, and strategic acquisitions such as Brazil-based El Pescador and Norway’s CLTRe.
 
“2019 is on track to be another record year for KnowBe4, which is experiencing accelerating growth at significant scale. We see KnowBe4 as a category-defining asset driving a significant impact within a critical vertical of cyber security and are very excited to extend our support in this new round of financing,” says Stephen Shanley, Director at KKR.
 
Patrick Devine, Principal at KKR, adds: “Cyber threats are not going to be solved with technology alone; the human side of the equation matters and KnowBe4 is making important contributions in this area. We’re very excited to watch the company continue to scale globally and meet market demand for security awareness training and testing that actually works.”
 
KKR will be making its investment through its Next Generation Technology Fund, which focuses on investments in software, security, Internet, digital media, and information services.

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