We're thrilled to announce the return of GamesBeat Next, hosted in San Francisco this October, where we will explore the theme of "Playing the Edge." Apply to speak here and learn more about sponsorship opportunities here. At the event, we will also announce 25 top game startups as the 2024 Game Changers. Apply or nominate today!

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 that help employees recognize malicious phishing emails. This partly involves conditioning staff to identify rogue emails, and it also allows them to report suspicious emails to their internal security teams. Spear phishing tricks people into providing sensitive data by sending a request from a fake email address that resembles a real email address from someone at the target company.

PhishMe had raised nearly $60 million in 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 beyond anti-phishing awareness to provide a more “collective, complete phishing defense.” The company wants to mark this transition with a new name, as well as a huge pot of cash to fuel this continued 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 been moving in this direction for years, with solutions that accelerate incident response, fueled by employee-sourced phishing-attack intelligence.”


VB Transform 2023 On-Demand

Did you miss a session from VB Transform 2023? Register to access the on-demand library for all of our featured sessions.


Register Now

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 also made a number of cybersecurity acquisitions over the past few years.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.