Bristol-based startup Immersive Labs – an interactive, on-demand and gamified cyber skills platform – has closed €36 million in funding led by global growth equity investor Summit Partners, with participation from existing investor Goldman Sachs.
The investment will be used to support expansion initiatives in North America, where customer demand highlights a clear need to optimise cyber skills and guard against constantly evolving threats. We believe this new round of funding illustrates how this dynamic technology is ushering in a new era of active training that enables professionals to acquire additional skills in richly immersive environments at their own pace and on their own schedules.
“Gaps in cybersecurity knowledge meaningfully increase risk to an organisation, creating vulnerability and presenting opportunity for attackers. The rapid, constantly evolving threat landscape has made traditional classroom training for cyber skills obsolete,” said James Hadley, CEO of Immersive Labs. “At a time when cyber skills are stretched across the board, the Immersive Labs platform enables companies to identify these weak points and rapidly skill people to address them.”
Immersive Labs was founded in 2017 by CEO James Hadley, former UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) cybersecurity instructor, who previously worked with and trained staff at the NHS and the Metropolitan Police. The company has experienced rapid growth since its launch, with 750% year-over-year increase in annual recurring revenues and an employee base that is now more than 100 strong. The company plans to build on its momentum from its new North American headquarters in Boston.
More than 100 organisations worldwide are already experiencing the benefits of the Immersive Labs platform, including British Telecom, Bank of Montreal, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, as well as government bodies such as the UK’s National Health Service and London’s Metropolitan Police.
Immersive Labs is an on-demand, continuous and trackable cyber skills development platform that is designed to enable both security specialists and business users to step into real-world cybersecurity situations based on real-world attack techniques and emerging or zero-day threats. These simulations are designed to challenge users and help them understand and guard against attacks in a safe environment, strengthening skill levels across the board, from identifying phishing attacks to reverse-engineering malware.
Data captured by users can also be employed to instantly analyze internal skill levels and drive improvement. The Immersive Labs platform maps an organization’s existing capabilities to familiar frameworks, including MITRE ATT&CK and NIST NICE. These features help identify specific skill shortages to be addressed and make the platform an important tool for planning, reporting, and forecasting security and risk.
“Cybersecurity has been a core investment theme for Summit for many years,” said Antony Clavel, a principal with Summit Partners. “We recognize in Immersive Labs many of the same qualities that we’ve seen in other cybersecurity leaders: a technically strong and strategically thoughtful management team; a differentiated product addressing a large and urgent market need; and a rapidly growing base of blue-chip customers. We believe Immersive Labs is well-positioned to become a global category leader in cyber skills development.”
“We are impressed with Immersive Labs’ achievements since our initial investment and see further growth potential as the team continues to execute on their vision and expand to new geographies,” said James Hayward, from Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division. “The platform is continually evolving to help address the gap in cyber skills that is impacting companies and governments across the globe.”