Norwegian cyber security company Pistachio (formerly known as CYBR) has secured €3.25 million in funding from an investor group led by Signals Venture Capital. The company also is launching its AI-driven security training platform to help European corporations eliminate human errors in their battle against cyber security threats. Pistachio already has an MRR of €60k and has over 100 customers in 8 European countries. The raised funding will accelerate Pistachio’s growth into new European and North American markets.
In addition to lead investor Signals VC, the investor group is made up of Norwegian pension fund MP Pensjon and all of Pistachio’s existing investors. To date, Pistachio has raised €5.4 million and has 26 employees.
Pistachio’s platform uses artificial intelligence to assess each employee’s security strengths and weaknesses through various simulated cyber attacks. Once an employee profile has been created, the platform sets up a completely individualized security training program. The simulated attacks will then continue and only slow down once the individual’s training is at a satisfactory level, helping companies ensure their entire workforce is capable of handling new threats when they arise.
According to the startup, unlike other security training platforms on the market, Pistachio uses a high level of automation and it can be integrated within minutes. This gives companies instant access to the platform rather than going through several months of integration, as is currently the market standard.
“We are extremely happy to welcome our new investors onto the Pistachio journey. Already early on, we realized the tools available for companies to protect themselves were outdated and generic, not really set up to counter modern threats. With our new investors on board and our platform out on the market, we are ready to revolutionize how companies deal with security threats,” said Mohammed Awais, co-founder and CEO of Pistachio.
According to a Stanford study, 88% of data breaches are caused by human error. With the emergence of AI, security threats have changed dramatically. According to IBM, 83% of companies will face a data breach at least once. When the average data breach can cost a company a bit over US$4 million per year, it has led to an ongoing arms race between hackers and corporate cyber security teams. With AI, the balance has tilted towards hackers, and corporations are scrambling to tackle new threats.
“The emergence of easy-access AI technology has changed the ballgame completely for cyber security. For example, where scammers previously sent out generic phishing emails to large groups and hoped to get lucky, they are now able to tailor their attempts to individual targets with minimum effort. Without individualized cyber security training, many of these attacks will succeed,” added Awais.
Cyber security is a $172bn industry, and is projected to almost triple in size by 2030. In addition to AI, the introduction of remote work in recent years has put pressure on organizations to increase their security without relying on on-site security measures. This shift has moved the focus from organizational defences to training individuals about the various risks, and how to handle them safely.
“We invested in Pistachio because they have proven they have what it takes to be a market leader in an industry that just keeps on growing,” commented Christian Weniger, General Partner at Signals VC. “Their strong position and proven track record in Scandinavia show us they are ready to grow, and we want to help Joe, Awais, and the team conquer Europe, also including Germany.”
Founded in 2021, Pistachio is an established leader in the Scandinavian cyber security industry, having experienced a 325% growth in ARR since the previous year. Following the upcoming expansion to Europe, the company is planning to expand further into the North American market.