KnowBe4, provider of a security awareness training and simulated phishing platform, has secured a sizeable minority investment from global investment firm KKR, with participation from Ten Eleven Ventures.
The investment, which values the company at over USD800 million, comes off the back of an exceptional 2018 for KnowBe4, which reached USD120 million of bookings and revenue growth of 110 percent.
“KKR is an important strategic partner for KnowBe4 as we continue to grow worldwide and bring new-school security awareness training to new markets,” says Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4. “We have had 23 straight quarters of explosive growth and there is no slowing down. All organisations need to invest in the human side of their security defences and there is no better way to build their capabilities than to continually train and test them on the constantly evolving threats that they will be exposed to.”
According to the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Report, phishing and pretexting represent 98 per cent of social incidents and 93 per cent of breaches. KnowBe4 helps organisations reduce their risk of an attack by educating users to recognise, report and avoid threats. KnowBe4’s market-leading approach to security awareness training and simulated phishing tests is designed to help employees make smarter security decisions. By building a ‘human firewall’ of users, KnowBe4 customers have an added line of defence on top of security technologies that cannot protect organisations by themselves. KnowBe4 continually produces fresh content, combined with simulated phishing tests, to continually educate users about threats such as phishing, malware and social engineering. KnowBe4’s platform is used by more than 23,000 organisations across a variety of industries, including highly regulated fields such as finance, healthcare, energy, government and insurance.
“We’ve seen global spending on cyber security solutions grow to USD48 billion, yet despite this investment, breaches, and the severity of these breaches, continue to be on the rise – over 90 percent of which involve inadvertent human error. We believe employees represent an organisation’s first and last line of defence. That is exactly why we are so excited to be investing in KnowBe4, the leading cyber security solution that goes beyond the infrastructure and prioritises empowering employees to make smarter security decisions,” says Stephen Shanley, Director at KKR.
“We are thrilled to be working with a world-class management team who has consistently over-delivered and with the company’s existing investors, Elephant and Goldman Sachs, who have done a great job positioning the business for scale,” adds Patrick Devine, Principal at KKR.
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. KnowBe4 expects to use the funds to strengthen the company’s international expansion and to further invest in adding to their suite of highly innovative security training modules.
“Cyber security training that helps every employee do his or her part to defend against attacks, especially as related to preventing the sophisticated spear phishing attacks we’re currently seeing, is more critical than ever. For the multitude of companies grappling with how to educate their workforce on how to best identify and protect against persistent threats, KnowBe4 offers an effective solution that results in dramatic risk reduction and ROI,” says Mark Hatfield, Founder and General Partner at Ten Eleven Ventures.