Content, Security Program Controls/Technologies

Private Equity Firms Acquire PhishMe, Rebrand as Cofense

Rohyt Belani, CEO, Cofense
CEO Rohyt Belani

PhishMe, which develops anti-phishing technologies and cybersecurity training services, has been acquired by private equity firms and rebranded as Cofense, the company confirmed today. The deal values Cofense at $400 million.

Still, it's unclear if the PE firms actually paid that entire figure -- or just a percentage of it -- to apparently gain majority control of the company. And in a strange twist, the PE firms names were not revealed in the deal's announcement. The apparent buyers were BlackRock and Pamplona Capital Management, according to Fortune.

Looking ahead, Cofense will pursue organic and inorganic growth -- meaning that more M&A deals are potentially brewing. Founded around 2007, the rebranded company now has more than 1,700 enterprise and midmarket customers. The firm will continue to focus on enterprise-wide attack detection, response, and orchestration solutions, according to CEO Rohyt Belani.

PhishMe Company Milestones

Overall, it sounds like the former PhishMe had a strong growth story. Among the metrics Cofense shared today:

  • The company's CAGR (compound annual growth) was around 80 percent over the last four years, though actual revenue figures and profit information was not disclosed.
  • PhishMe Reporter has been deployed on over 10 million workstations.
  • PhishMe Free is available and geared towards SMB customers.
  • The company's partner program includes 14 of the world’s leading security providers.

Next up is Cofense Triage, a new offering that's expected to launch sometime next week, according to the company.

Anti-Phishing Competition Intensifies

While Cofense positions itself as a market builder and innovator, multiple companies now compete in the anti-phishing and associated cybersecurity training markets. Many of the major MSSP-friendly technology companies -- names like Sophos and Webroot, for instance -- now own anti-phishing technologies and training systems that partners promote to end-customers.

We'll be watching to see how Cofense seeks to differentiate in the growing -- but consolidating -- market.

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.