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Meet the cybersecurity training start-up now valued at $1bn

Security awareness training and simulated phishing vendor KnowBe4 has raised $300m (£235.6m) in funding, which now puts its market valuation at $1bn.

The latest round was led by investment firm KKR, which led a $30m Series C round in March. The vendor’s total funding stands at $393.5m, according to Crunchbase.

The US-based company was founded in 2010 by CEO Stu Sjouwerman.

The $300m will be used to expand its global initiatives and platform development, the vendor stated.

Recent CRN research revealed that CIOs are more concerned about the impact that phishing will have on their business this year than ransomware, with perpetrators constructing highly strategic and targeted emails.

KnowBe4 claimed it is earning $100m in recurring revenues, with almost triple-digit growth and a customer base with 25,000 organisations across all industries.

“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,” said Sjouwerman.

“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 cyberthreats, while also accelerating KnowBe4’s rollout in new markets to help more companies around the globe.”

Patrick Devine, principal at KKR, stated: “Cyberthreats 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.”

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