Israel's Elbit Systems announced May 19 that Charlesbank Technology Opportunities Fund (CTOF) invested approximately $70 million in Elbit's Israeli subsidiary Cyberbit, a provider of platforms for training cyber security professionals.
As a result of the investment and sale of equity holdings, Elbit Systems became a minority shareholder in Cyberbit. Claridge Israel L.P., an existing shareholder of Cuberbit, which invested $30 million in Cyberbit in June 2018, also participated in this round of investment.
CTOF is managed by US private equity investment firm Charlesbank Capital Partners, which manages more than $6 billion of capital.
Out of the $70 million, approximately $22 million was invested in Cyberbit and approximately $48 million was paid in consideration of a portion of Elbit's shares in the subsidiary, Elbit said.
The Cyberbit Range product is said to deliver a hyper-realistic experience that replicates a real-world cyberattack by immersing trainees in a virtual security operations center, where they use commercial security tools to respond to live, simulated attacks. The platform delivers over 100,000 training sessions annually on 5 continents.
"We were truly impressed with the positive feedback from Cyberbit's customers about the value they see in training with Cyberbit Range," said Darren Battistoni, a managing director at Charlesbank who will join the Cyberbit Board of Directors. "The company has shown impressive growth and has a highly capable and experienced leadership team. We are excited to partner with Cyberbit's management and existing shareholders Elbit and Claridge Israel during the company's next phase of growth."
In 2019, Cyberbit launched its cloud-based cyber range offering, enabling customers to participate in cyber range exercises on demand, from any location. During the COVID-19 outbreak, when most organizations were forced to cancel training for their security teams due to travel restrictions and lockdowns, Cyberbit's cloud customers were able to seamlessly transition their security teams to remote training and maintain their skill levels. Cyberbit is seeing a spike in the demand for its cloud-based offering during COVID-19 to support remote training needs.
"We are experiencing record demand for our cyber range as organizations recognize the importance of real-world cyberattack simulation to assess and prepare their security teams," said Adi Dar, CEO of Cyberbit. "The investment from Charlesbank will allow us to solidify our position as a best-of-breed product and allow us to accelerate our global expansion."
Bezhalel Machlis, president and CEO of Elbit Systems, commented: "Preparing the human element for cyberattacks is one of the most acute cybersecurity challenges. The investment of Charlesbank in Cyberbit is a recognition of Cyberbit’s market-leading position and the growth potential of Cyberbit’s training platform – the Cyber Range. I am confident that this investment will allow Cyberbit to realize its full growth potential."