- The Greek-founded cybersecurity training startup Hack the Box has closed a round of around $55M from the Carlyle Group, one of the largest private equity firms in the world.
- The capital will be invested in research and development and into increasing the number of employees to almost 300 in the next two years. The company also plans to expand into the US market.
- With the latest $55M investment, the US private equity firm acquires a high minority stake in Hack The Box, as the value of the Greek startup is estimated to exceed $100M.
Founded in 2017 by Haris Pylarinos (CEO), Aris Zikopoulos (CCO), and James Hooker (CTO), Hack The Box has to date raised nearly $15M from international VCs including Osage University Partners, the first and biggest Edtech VC in Europe – Brighteye Ventures, and the early-stage Greek investor – Marathon Venture Capital.
Hack the Box was launched with the idea that cybersecurity skills should be developed through hands-on practice rather than by reading books and obtaining certifications, and the co-founders did that by creating an online space, imitating a computer system that can be hacked into, and adding gamification features on top. The online platform for cybersecurity training Hack the Box offers individuals, universities, and companies a chance to game up their hacking skills by giving them access to virtual experiential hacking labs where they learn by doing and rewarding them with points and badgers for advancing in their training. Additionally, it offers advanced analytics, solutions for talent acquisition and evaluation, and community engagement.
In the last 5 years, Hack The Box has built a community of over 1.3M platform members and has trained over 1.4K corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and organizations, including Toyota, Siemens, EA Sports, The New York University, and UCL.
The cybersecurity startup maintains headquarters in Kent, England, but has its main Research and Development center in Athens. With a team of over 180 employees dispersed across the globe, Hack The Box mission is to become the world’s largest and most inclusive hacking community. In parallel, the startup aims to make hacking the new gaming by introducing more meaningful gamification in the field and providing curated, and sophisticated hacking content.