Why We Invested in Immersive Labs
Across industries around the globe, CISOs and other security professionals have an incredible responsibility to manage risk, and they face growing pressure to support and prove their organization’s readiness for cyber threats. They must continuously ask themselves:
- Are my security team’s skills and knowledge up-to-date in an environment where our complex technology is constantly evolving, and the digital threats are changing even faster?
- Are my development teams’ secure-coding skill levels consistent with industry best practices?
- Are my cloud engineers up-to-date on the cutting-edge technologies and risks that are rapidly emerging?
- Have we truly prepared the Board and other C-level leaders for difficult and time-sensitive decision making in the face of cyber incidents that could impact our operations, or have regulatory, or even safety impacts?
- Do new or prospective hires have the cyber capabilities we need to run a secure business?
- Are we able to continuously support the learning and development of junior professionals as well as top up the skills of our most elite team members?
- Collectively, are we as a company genuinely prepared to handle a crisis?
Historically, the only method of tackling these questions was to put employees through one-off training sessions or certification programs. At best, these were point-in-time learning opportunities focused on effort, rather than outcome. Time has proven these efforts insufficient, as the skills and readiness of the workforce in most organizations have lagged behind that of cyber attackers. What’s more, is that they cannot adequately measure an organization’s readiness for a cyber attack.
In place of static, periodic training, companies need a way to truly understand, prove, and continuously enhance the capabilities of multiple teams within the organization who all contribute to cyber resilience and response. That’s why we proudly announced our investment in Immersive Labs. Immersive Labs has built the premier SaaS platform to Assess, Build, and Prove Cyber Workforce Resilience at all levels of an organization. We see a massive opportunity for Immersive to substantially impact companies looking to improve their organizations’ defense and response capabilities through continuous upskilling of their cross-functional employees.
Ensuring that the human element of cyber security (responsible for 82% of breaches in the last year, per Immersive) is supported has been part of several Ten Eleven investments. Most notably, this was a central theme in our investment in KnowBe4. This company uses testing and training to create a “human firewall” to enable employees to make intelligent security decisions daily. KnowBe4’s differentiated insight and laser focus on the human element have helped its rapid growth and success in the public markets following its 2021 IPO. Our investment in Immersive Labs expands upon the human element theme, with the next-generation opportunity to define an entirely new category of Cyber Workforce Resilience. In CEO James Hadley’s own words:
“We measure human performance in many facets of life, from sports to university exams and professional certifications. We have become adept at understanding and quantifying an individual’s ability in many areas, but there is a blind spot that has often eluded precise measurement: how well a team works together.”
Enabling the entire organization to work better together to promote a more protected and resilient company is an exciting mission and one that we are confident the team will succeed in. Since its founding in 2017, Immersive Labs has experienced tremendous growth with some of the biggest companies in the world among its customers, including HSBC, Vodafone, Citi, Pfizer, Daimler, Humana, Atos, T. Rowe Price, and the UK National Health Service. Underlining the company’s ambitions is the company’s work to help companies look for new talent by allowing organizations to upskill and test applicants against the specific skills required. Led by rockstar CEO James Hadley, former GCHQ security researcher and trainer, this is a team with an incredible depth of experience and pace. The group includes Paul Bentham, Chief Product Officer, Matt Knutsen, Chief Revenue Officer, Sandra McDevitt, Chief HR Officer, and Lucian Lui, Chief Marketing Officer. Overall, we believe that the Immersive Labs team has all the right ingredients to deliver on the potential of this exciting new category and exceptional product.
We are delighted to be joined in this round by existing investors of the highest caliber, including Insight Partners, Summit Partners, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Menlo Partners, and Citi Ventures. I look forward to our joining the Board, including industry titans Jack Huffard (Tenable), Jennifer Johnson (Crowdstrike), James Hayward (Goldman Sachs), Antony Clavel (Summit Partners), and Ryan Hinkle (Insight Partners).
Now, more than ever, organizations worldwide need to be resilient to cyber attacks – and realize that objective starts with enabling people who fight against these attacks every day. We couldn’t be more excited to be part of Immersive Labs’ journey to change the world.