The cybersecurity industry has taken a hit recently, with economic headwinds prompting layoffs and a broad investor pullback. But some firms have escaped unscathed, like cybersecurity training platform Cybrary, which today announced that it raised $25 million in a Series C funding round. CEO Kevin Hanes conveyed to TechCrunch that the round, which brings Cybrary's total raised to $48 million, was led by BuildGroup and Gula Tech Adventure and will be put toward developing "content and capabilities" on the company's platform.
Cybrary was launched in 2015 by co-founders Ralph Sita and Ryan Corey (Hanes joined as CEO a year ago). As Hanes tells it, their mission was to break down barriers to the cybersecurity industry by creating a way for aspiring professionals to enter the field -- no matter their background or experience.
"There are an estimated 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity roles today. Studies suggest the global cybersecurity workforce needs to grow 65% to effectively defend organizations’ critical assets. Introducing more products and technology will not help organizations solve this fundamental issue," Hanes told TechCrunch via email. "Investing in people is key to narrowing the cybersecurity skills gap and helping to combat increasing burnout and human error. Cybersecurity professionals at every stage of their careers need an affordable and accessible training platform to arm them with the skills and confidence to respond to threats."
Cybrary's e-learning portal offers access to training content, including online courses and tools, built around adversary techniques and vulnerabilities. Contained within the catalog are activities led by cybersecurity experts, covering topics like ethical hacking, digital forensics, web app security and networking and operating systems.
Hanes makes the case that Cybrary is a more affordable alternative to in-person bootcamps and other cybersecurity e-learning platforms on the market. A Pro plan, which includes certification prep, labs, and practice assessments, starts at $59. While some might argue that Cybrary isn't as comprehensive as an intensive, weeks-long bootcamp, it's indeed a fraction of the cost -- most cybersecurity bootcamps average in the thousands of dollars.
"Decision makers should assess the most risk they can reduce with the next dollars they spend and consider the case for training their team," Hanes said. "Worldwide, 80% of organizations suffered one or more breaches that they could attribute to a lack of cybersecurity skills and awareness. So leaders need to invest in their people, not only to reduce organizational risk, but also to build a cybersecurity talent pipeline across their organizations."
Eighty-employee Cybrary has reasonably strong traction in the market, with more than 3.7 million users and 742 companies enrolled in its Cybrary for Teams product. The startup also has a budding defense business, involving what Hanes vaguely described as "many" different government groups and military branches.
"Ramping up our in-house cybersecurity expertise has enabled us to create a new style of training that is focused on hands-on skills and understanding real-world threats and vulnerabilities, and how to ensure your organization is protected," Hanes said. "While Cybrary has historically been focused on helping people enter the workforce and earn their fundamental certifications, [recent] additions to our platform allow us to support these individuals in their journey long after they land their first role."