Immersive Labs, a platform that teaches cybersecurity skills to corporate employees in a “gamified” way using real, up-to-date threat intelligence, has partnered with Menlo Ventures, Citi, to lead new investors Insight Partners for $75 Million Series C funding round is closed. Ventures and existing investor Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
The investment will be used to grow Immersive’s offering in the US and take advantage of the new wave of interest in cyber threats caused by many working remotely after the pandemic. Founded in 2017, Immersive Labs now consists of 200 people, with joint operations headquartered in Bristol, UK and Boston, US. It plans to increase the workforce to over 600 over the next two years and establish operations in new regions throughout APAC and Europe. Immersive’s ‘Cyber Workforce Optimization’ platform claims to offer board-level metrics and benchmarking to gauge how skills within organizations are coping.
Immersive has now raised a total of $123 million in venture funding and counts HSBC, Vodafone and the NHS as customers. The company says it is growing at a rate of “over 100% year-on-year”.
James Hadley, CEO and Founder of Immersive Labs, said: “With cyber risk becoming a problem for an increasing number of business operations, cyber security knowledge and skills should no longer be the preserve of a few technical people hiding in the back office. The teams that build the software Everyone from the CEO to the CEO now needs to play their part in addressing the broader issue of the company. This requires unlocking and certifying skills in a much wider group of people.”
Ryan Hinkle, Managing Director of Insight Partners, said: “With significant global customer and revenue growth over the past few years, Immersive Labs has established a strong position in the rapidly evolving cyber skills sector. With impressive leadership, a growing market share in the world. With innovative products and strong user engagement, the company is positioned to continue to lead the cyber preparedness market.
Speaking to me in an interview, Headley said: “We chose Insight Partners because they have found a real force in enterprise B2B, where we sell to CIOs and CEOs… we are a successful UK cybersecurity case. I want to be the next Darktrace company.”
The comparison may not be so fanciful. Immersive Labs, derived from the Cylon Cyber Accelerator, has investors similar to Darktrace, similar to Darktrace, but has actually attracted $75 million for its Series C, while Darktrace hasn’t managed that level until Series D. Darktrace is now having an IPO. In London for £1.7bn.
Hadley, a former security researcher and trainer at GCHQ, pioneered cyber training himself with the idea of the Cyber Skills Platform. I asked him why he thinks Immersive has managed to bring in the ‘flywheel effect’ with its platform.
“People always talk about all cyber threats being worse, but it really is now and it is in the public domain. We have a strong belief that cyber security is no longer the responsibility of the geeks in the basement. Actually, it is business-wide. And now the tidal wave is coming. Cybercrime is going to take off in a big way this year and next because companies are paying ransoms. And as a result, we’re putting in analytics to measure decision making in crisis. It is resonating really well with every company, regardless of CIO or vertical,” he told me.