Clearwater’s KnowBe4 reaches $80 million deal to acquire SecurityAdvisor

The cybersecurity training firms are expected to merge by the end of the year.
KnowBe4, headquartered in Clearwater, has announced plans to purchase SecurityAdvisor for $80 million.
KnowBe4, headquartered in Clearwater, has announced plans to purchase SecurityAdvisor for $80 million. [ SCOTT KEELER | TAMPA BAY TIMES ]
Published Oct. 21, 2021|Updated Oct. 21, 2021

Less than six months after going public, Clearwater cybersecurity training firm KnowBe4 has made a major acquisition.

The company has reached a deal to purchase Sunnyvale, Calif. tech security outfit SecurityAdvisor for $80 million in cash and stock, including $22.5 million in cash, 27.5 million in shares of KnowBe4 common stock and $30 million in incentives based on the combined company’s future performance.

The acquisition “will provide customers with the ability to address human layer (security) risks in real time,” according to a merger agreement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“We believe we are creating a new category of security called Human Detection and Response, or HDR,” KnowBe4 founder and CEO Stu Sjouwerman said in a statement. “We see this combination as a great addition to the existing capabilities of our platform as we believe it will enable true behavioral change and help build a more effective and mature security culture much faster.”

KnowBe4 describes Human Detection and Response as the ability to train technology users to recognize security threats in real time, and have those threats neutralized just as quickly.

Related: Newly public Clearwater company KnowBe4's IPO pulls in $175 million

Founded in 2018, SecurityAdvisor expands KnowBe4′s potential marketplace by $5 billion, according to the merger agreement. SecurityAdvisor’s products are already integrated into more than 50 platforms and brands, including Slack, Okta and Malwarebytes.

KnowBe4 launched an initial public offering in April, raising $175 million. The company reported more than $59.3 million in revenue during its most recent financial quarter, along with a net loss of nearly $16.9 million.

KnowBe4 and SecurityAdvisor expect to complete the deal by the end of 2021.