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Immersive Labs, Bristol-based cybersecurity training platform firm, raises $75m in Series C

Bristol-headquartered skills and training platform has now raised $123 million

Immersive Labs, a cybersecurity training and skills platform founded by former GCHQ trainer James Hadley, has raised $75 million in a Series C funding round, with new investors Citi Ventures and Menlo Ventures joining existing investor Goldman Sachs Asset Management in backing the company.

The Immersive Labs platform lets users spin up hundreds of labs in-browser on topics including SOC analysis, malware analysis and ethical hacking without specialist software or plug-ins.

It offers labs suitable from "novice" to "ninja", with scoreboards that gamify the training for users. It also provides CISOs and CIOs with data on how security teams are performing. The company has been growing rapidly, landing Goldman Sachs as a customer in 2018, just a year after it was founded.

"The labor crisis in cyber security is a hard problem to solve.  To protect against ever-evolving threats, the cyber workforce must constantly expand and evolve. Immersive Labs helps large organizations confront this head-on by combining smart data analysis with targeted training,” said Venky Ganesan, Partner at Menlo Ventures.

“As a veteran cyber security investor, I find the opportunity for Immersive Labs to solve a massive problem with a horizontal solution exciting. The cybersecurity threat will only increase, making Immersive Labs future proof as they seek to help large enterprises educate and arm themselves against ever-evolving threats.”

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The company says it already works with over 100 global organisations including HSBC, Vodafone and the NHS. It noted in a press release that the funding round puts it ahead of fellow British cybersecurity enterprise Darktrace at the same stage of its growth -- Darktrace raised $65 million in its Series C in 2016.

The recent capital will help Immersive Labs continue its 100% year-on-year growth with a "data-centric approach in mapping cyber skills to risk", the company said in a canned statement, adding that the investment will "accelerate delivery of a progressive new Cyber Workforce Optimization platform.

"With cyber risk no longer confined to technical specialists, expert skills are now required across the entire organization. From crisis management with executives, to secure software development amongst engineers and ensuring compliance in legal teams, the platform will use data insights to understand where skills are required and inject role specific training. It will also enable board-level metrics and benchmarking."

Immersive Labs has now received $123 million in venture funding.

James Hadley, CEO and Founder of Immersive Labs, noted, “With cyber risk becoming a problem for a growing number of business functions, cybersecurity knowledge and skills should no longer be the preserve of a few technical people hidden away in a back office. Everyone from the teams who build software, to the CEO, now need to play their part in addressing a pervasive company issue. This requires unlocking and evidencing skills in a much broader group of people.

"The first step to achieving this lies in understanding where capabilities are lacking which, until now, has been impossible. This investment will allow us to add new analytical capabilities and content to provide a more detailed picture of skills across the growing breadth and depth of cyber exposure facing organizations, helping them measure and manage risk better.”

Immersive Labs was founded in 2017. It now has over 200 staff, with joint operations HQs in Bristol and Boston.

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