KnowBe4: M&A Helping with Global Expansion
KnowBe4 continues to expand its global reach via acquisitions and partnering, while providing increasing opportunities for MSSPs, resellers and other partners in a “vastly untapped” market.
That’s according to Perry Carpenter, KnowBe4’s chief evangelist and strategy officer, at this week’s KB4-CON, the company’s user conference in Orlando, Florida. He said KnowBe4 is “in it to support the partners” and the channel is really good” for a company like his.
“The majority of vendors in this market are having a hard time keeping up with us … they’re kind of betting on a losing horse if they going with other vendors,” he said. “The gap between where we are and they are is increasing over time.”
KnowBe4 now has more than 25,000 customers, as well as 700 employees, and operates in eight countries.
“We have hundreds of MSPs or MSSPs that write us into their rollout,” said Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4’s CEO. “For these types of organizations, it’s quite a good deal because on one hand you can charge a little more, but your costs are going down because … it saves time.”
In a Q&A with Channel Futures, Carpenter tells us his company is busy developing new security awareness training content, and has its eye on opportunities in other regions.
Channel Futures: You joined KnowBe4 just over two years ago. How has your role evolved during that time?
Perry Carpenter: I’ve carved out the buckets that I work in, and about a third of it is speaking and doing analyst relations, and kind of the public face of the company in conjunction with other people who are doing that. Then I’ve also been concentrating on a couple of things related to the product and helping the product team … just fleshing out some of the ideas and then connecting the product to the way that a CISO would think about the needs that they have. And then the third section that I focus on quite a bit is content, and I break that down into two different areas: content in the procurement of itself, and then also the procurement of companies that produce content, so there’s an M&A piece of that as well. When a company is too big [for] M&A or if a company’s not willing to be acquired at this time, then we’ll partner with them and have a really good relationship with them, and try to use their content and license that. For companies that are best-in-class … within a region or on a certain topic, or something else, then we may look to acquire them so we can bring that talent in-house, and continue to fuel that so they’re not having to worry about all the distractions of running a company, but they can focus on the passion that got them in the business in the first place.
You saw us acquire two companies last year, Popcorn Training … and exploqii out of Germany. So we’re always pivoting around thinking flavors and types of style, links and then also global applicability.
CF: And the acquisitions are continuing with El Pescador in Brazil and another that will be announced soon?
PC: El Pescador was a very strategic acquisition, not only on the content side, but their real strength is on the technology side, so they give us the ability to do some development in Brazil with a great group of coders. And they’ve got a great network of people that they can also draw in there. They’e really good thought leaders [in] the way that they approach their style of content as well. And it does show that when we think global, what we want to do is focus on a company that does well in that region already, and then grow that, rather than hoping that if we …