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January 14, 2019updated 07 Jul 2022 12:02pm

Goldman Sachs Leads Funding in GCHQ Veteran’s Cybersecurity Startup

Funding will be used to expand Bristol-based company

By CBR Staff Writer

Immersive Labs, the UK cybersecurity startup that provides users with a gamified learning platform to help employees hone their cyber skills, has secured $8 million in a Series A funding round led by Goldman Sachs.

The funding round pivots the investment bank from customer to investor: Goldman numbers among Bristol-based Immersive Labs largest clients; signing up to use the platform in June 2018, as reported by Computer Business Review.

(The investment bank said at the time it will make the platform available for 8,000+ developers across the firm, with a broader roll-out planned).

Immersive Labs was founded by former GCHQ trainer James Hadley, and is chaired by Robert Hannigan, GCHQ’s former director general. It provides a competitive platform for teams to test their cybersecurity skills in a range of labs.

The funding will be used grow its offering, the company said in a release. Immersive Labs opened offices in Washington and New York this summer and aims to capitalise on growing pressure to boost the skill set of existing staff amid a global cybersecurity specialist shortage.

See also: Hack the Gov’t and Tell the NCSC? You’ll Now Get a Pat on the Back

The platform can run in any internet browser. It allows users to spin up over 300 labs on topics including SOC Analysis, Malware Analysis and Ethical Hacking, without specialist software or plug-ins. Labs are suitable from novice to “ninja”.

It also provides CISOs and CIOs with  data on how security teams are performing.

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James Hadley, CEO of Immersive Labs, said in a release this morning: “Large organizations are facing a dual cyber security talent problem; not only is the number of professionals seriously lagging but so is the pace at which their skills are developed. If you are able to recruit the right people in the first place, today’s attackers move so fast your team may quickly fall behind.

“Our goal is to reduce this gap. With increased capital, we can help more companies continue to upskill their cyber talent in a way which keeps pace with the threat landscape.”

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