KnowBe4 Inc., a provider of cybersecurity training software, has agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners for $4.6 billion.
KnowBe4 announcement the case today, about a month after the first disclosed that he had received a takeover offer from Vista. The $4.6 billion the private equity firm is offering the company is $24.9 per share. The proposed price represents a 46% premium to the closing price of KnowBe4 shares on September 16, the day before the acquisition talks were announced.
Founded in 2010, KnowBe4 helps organizations train their employees on how to detect and avoid phishing emails. The company offers a library of courses and other learning resources that organizations can use to support internal cybersecurity training initiatives. KnowBe4’s library includes content that the company develops in-house, as well as learning resources provided by partners.
KnoweBe4 provides its training platform alongside a number of other software products.
The company offers a tool that can be used to test the effectiveness of an organization’s cybersecurity efforts with simulated phishing attacks. According to KnowBe4, admins can customize a mock phishing campaign for specific business units to increase its effectiveness. The tool also includes templates designed to reduce manual work for administrators.
As part of phishing campaigns, hackers often create websites that attempt to trick a company’s employees into sharing login credentials. KnowBe4’s platform allows a company to create a website similar to those used by hackers and leverage it to test employees’ cybersecurity know-how. The website may also be used to provide cybersecurity advice to employees.
For business users, KnowBe4 provides a tool to report phishing emails to the IT team. Administrators can use a KnowBe4 product called PhishER to investigate phishing attacks reported by employees. According to the company, PhishER uses machine learning to automate some of the manual tasks typically involved in investigating hacking campaigns.
KnowBe4 claims that its products are used by over 52,000 organizations. The company firm the second quarter with revenues of $80.8 million, an increase of 36.1% over the same period a year ago. Its annualized recurring revenue was $328.3 million as of June 30.
“KnowBe4 has a strong track record of performance, as evidenced by our market-leading platform and global customer base,” said KnowBe4 Founder and CEO Stu Sjouwerman. “Under Vista ownership, we will have access to additional resources and support, which will help us achieve our goals and provide added value to our customers.”
KnowBe4 goes private about 18 months later SEO its shares on the Nasdaq. The company raised $144 million through its IPO and earlier received a $300 million investment led by KKR.
KKR and venture capital firm Elephant Partners, another major KnowBe4 player, have agreed to back Vista’s proposed acquisition of the company. Vista expects to complete the transaction in the first half of 2023.