George TziralisGeorge Tziralis

Hack The Box Raises $55M Series B Led by Carlyle

We first met with Haris Pylarinos, the founder of Hack The Box, four short years ago. Together with James Hooker and Aris Zikopoulos, they had started building a cult-like hacker platform destined to become one of the greatest brands in cybersecurity. 

Hack The Box offered access to virtual machines you could hack and learn the latest cybersecurity techniques by doing. In a sector where the curiosity and talent of ethical hackers used to be restricted to studying textbooks and acquiring certificates, Hack The Box's call to action was heaven on earth for cybersecurity enthusiasts.

Months after launch, the platform had become a sensation, attracting thousands of users and generating more than enough revenue for the founders to reconsider their day jobs. We offered a term sheet right after our second meeting with Haris on Christmas 2018.

A lot has happened since then; the team grew from zero to 180 FTEs; the platform has matured to a category-defining offering that any company serious about its cybersecurity posture cannot afford to miss, and the market has followed suit to embrace it across geographies and sectors.

From government to Fortune 500 companies and every industry vertical in between, Hack The Box is rapidly becoming an indispensable part of the toolset for thousands of organizations worldwide. Its signature virtual labs elevate security personnel from passive software operators to ethical hackers themselves. 

In a global cybersecurity market, counting 4.7 million employees and 3.4 million unfilled job openings, Hack The Box hosts more than 1.7 million users across its platforms, helping empower a more diverse and better-qualified global cybersecurity workforce.

We have been privileged to experience the rapid growth of Hack The Box and help push the company forward. We served as the first and sole investor in its $1.3m seed round, then doubled down with another $2.6m six months later while also joining the $11m Series A that took place a couple of years ago.

Today, we are thrilled to announce the completion of a $55m Series B round led by Carlyle. Carlyle is a global investment firm with $369 billion in assets under management. It is also joined by every existing investor in the company, plus new ones participating in the round.

The investment provides the company with ample firepower to grow across all fronts. Also, leveraging Carlyle's platform and support, Hack The Box will accelerate its mission to connect cyber-ready individuals and organizations through highly engaging hacking experiences that cultivate out-of-the-box thinking.

The Series B round was also paired with a secondary transaction, which gave us the opportunity to return to our backers in one go the full Marathon I plus more

At the same time, we also provided our limited partners the opportunity to invest directly in the company. We are happy plenty of them did, putting together a material contribution to the Series B round while enabling us to continue serving as proud Hack The Box shareholders.

It has been a singular joy and privilege to watch Haris, James, and Aris build a category-defining cybersecurity company from the get-go. We are grateful to everyone at Hack The Box's rock-star team for their hard work and extraordinary achievements during the last four years – thank you!

At the same time, and while we naturally transitioned from early-stage to late-stage investors by passing Marathon's torch to Carlyle, we believe it is still the early days for Hack The Box, and we look forward to the company's future.

If you haven't already, it is high time you get your hands on cybersecurity, enabling your organization to step up against modern threats. There's no better place on earth than Hack The Box to do so! And you'd rather keep an eye on what this team delivers next.