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Huntress Acquires ‘Fun’ Security-Training Firm Curricula For $22M

Jay Fitzgerald

The takeover will better position Huntress to go after mid-market companies, CEO says.

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Huntress, provider of a managed security platform and threat intelligence for SMBs, has purchased an Atlanta-based startup that provides companies with “fun, story-based security awareness training” for employees.

The Ellicott City, Md.-based Huntress announced earlier this week that it has acquired Curricula for $22 million, effective immediately.

Founded in 2015, Curricula, which two years ago raised $3 million in Series A funding, employed about 14 people until its takeover by Huntress, which now has a post-merger payroll of about 210 employees.

The acquisition comes as companies, particularly small and mid-sized firms, are coming under increasing cyberattacks and desperately searching for security tools to fend off cybercriminals.

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Among the numerous security products and services now out there are education programs and training of employees not to fall for phishing scams and other attempts by hackers to sneak into IT systems.

In Curricula’s case, it says it uses behavioral science to better train and educate users, but it’s not done in typical classroom-like settings. Instead, it uses “fun storytelling and animation” to teach employees how to recognize, deny and thwart hacking attempts.

“It’s a fantastic technology,” says Kyle Hanslovan, Huntress CEO and co-founder. “We’ve been using the product in-house for a while now.”

Indeed, Huntress liked the technology so much, it decided to buy Curricula and add its technology to Huntress’s own security platform, Hanslovan told CRN.

The key to Curricula’s approach: it uses humor and storytelling, along with animation, to teach employees about security.

“If you’re having fun, you remember things better,” Hanslovan said. “It presents lessons in memorable ways.”

Curricula has about 700 customers, which includes MSPs and other channel players, with thousands of organizations ultimately using the firm’s products.

“Our training content is second to none,” said Curricula CEO Nick Santora in a statement. “Our animation studio creates security awareness content that is fun, memorable, and most importantly effective.”

Santora added: “Now under Huntress, we’re able to scale our global reach to resellers and service providers, setting the tone for what a remarkable security awareness program should be for every organization.”

In addition to its core platform, Curricula has a number of other offerings, including a gamified phishing simulator, custom content creation tools and compliance reporting.

Hanslovan said the acquisition of Curricula by Huntress, which was founded in 2015, adds an extra layer to his firm’s managed security platform.

He added it will also allow Huntress, which so far has been targeting smaller companies, to better go after some of Curricula’s mid-market customers.

Channel players, such as VARs and MSPs, can benefit from Curricula’s products because they can lessen the time it takes to educate and train workers on security matters. “We’re going to take away a lot of that management time,” Hanslovan said.

This is Huntress’s second acquisition since its founding seven years ago. In early 2021, Huntress bought San Antonio, Texas-based Level Effect, developer of endpoint detection and response (EDR) technology. Financial details of that transaction were not disclosed.

For its part, Huntress has been growing rapidly of late, following the $40 million in Series B funding it received last year, bringing its total raised to $58 million. Among its investors are JMI Equity and ForgePoint Capital.

Huntress partners with more than 3,000 service providers that in turn protect more than 1.2 million endpoints across more than 68,000 businesses.

Learn More: Cybersecurity
Jay Fitzgerald

Jay Fitzgerald is a senior editor covering cybersecurity for CRN. Jay previously freelanced for the Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, Boston magazine, Banker & Tradesman, MassterList.com, Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge, the National Bureau of Economic Research and other entities. He can be reached at jfitzgerald@thechannelcompany.com.

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