Cybersecurity startup PhishMe acquired for $400 million by private equity consortium and rebranded as Cofense



Cybersecurity startup PhishMe has been acquired by an undisclosed syndicate of private equity firms and rebranded as Cofense, with the company stating that the deal valued it at around $ 400 million.

Leesburg, Virginia-based PhishMe provides tools for employees to recognize malicious phishing emails. This partly involves conditioning staff into being able to identify rogue emails, for example, while also allowing them to report suspicious emails to their internal security teams. Spear phishing is a technique used to fool people into providing sensitive data in response to a request made from a fake email address that resembles a real email address from someone else at the target company.

PhishMe had raised nearly $ 60 million outside funding, the biggest chunk of which arrived via its series C round back in 2016.

The rebrand, it seems, stems from PhishMe’s expansion into providing a more “collective, complete phishing defense” beyond that of anti-phishing awareness. So it wants to mark this shape-shift with a new name and huge pot of cash to fuel its growth. “With our new name and branding, we’re ready to blow things out,” noted company cofounder Aaron Higbee in a blog post. “We’ve moving in this direction for years, with solutions that accelerate incident response, fueled by employee-sourced phishing-attack intelligence.”

A $ 400 million exit seems like a decent outcome for a company that had raised $ 60 million, and now it will be better positioned financially to meet the growing demand for cybersecurity across numerous industries.

“The strategic vision is growing while financial pressure is shrinking,” added Higbee.

The cybersecurity market is on course to become a $ 165 billion industry by 2023, though reports indicate there will be a huge workforce shortfall in the coming years. Big technology companies have been investing heavily in cybersecurity, with acquisitions playing a pivotal role in their growth — Amazon snapped up Sqrrl a few weeks ago, while Microsoft has made a number of cybersecurity acquisitions over the past few years.

Social – VentureBeat

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