Channel investors, Content, Phishing

KnowBe4: New Funding, $800 Million Valuation

KnowBe4 CEO Stu Sjouwerman
KnowBe4 CEO Stu Sjouwerman

KnowBe4, a Top 10 provider of cybersecurity awareness training and simulated phishing software, has received a minority investment from KKR and Ten Eleven Ventures. The investment values KnowBe4 at $800 million, the software company says.

It's the second major private equity investment in the Tampa, Florida, area this week. The other involved Thoma Bravo acquiring ConnectWise for $1.5 billion, according to ChannelE2E estimates.

KnowBe4 has been in growth mode. Bookings for 2018 were $120 million, and revenues surged 110 percent, the company says. More than 23,000 organizations now leverage KnowBe4. The company has also enjoyed 23 straight quarters of "explosive" growth, CEO Stu Sjouwerman asserts.

KnowBe4: Platform and Partner Expansion

More than a one-product company, KnowBe4 has been focusing on a platform buildout. Key company milestones so far include:

MSP and cybersecurity partners have been embracing KnowBe4. True believers include LDM Global, an eDiscovery and cybersecurity consulting firm. Indeed, LDM has embraced Arctic Wolf Networks and KnowBe4 for SOC (security operations center) as a Service, anti-phishing and security awareness training.

Investors Weigh In

In a prepared statement about the investment, KKR Director Stephen Shanley said:

"We believe employees represent an organization’s first and last line of defense. That is exactly why we are so excited to be investing in KnowBe4, the leading cyber security solution that goes beyond the infrastructure and prioritizes empowering employees to make smarter security decisions.

Added Patrick Devine, principal 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.

Concluded Mark Hatfield, founder and general partner at Ten Eleven Ventures:

“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."

KnowBe4 partner program information is here.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.