OutKept, a Ghent-based cybersecurity startup, has successfully raised €500K in seed funding to enhance its innovative approach to preventing phishing attacks. The round was led by Presto Ventures and Business Angels Network Flanders (BAN Flanders), marking a significant step in the company’s mission to safeguard organizations with the help of an open community of ethical phishers.
Eduard Kucera, Partner at Presto Ventures, praised OutKept’s strategy of leveraging crowdsourcing to identify potential phishing emails and educate clients’ employees. This method is particularly relevant as AI-fueled social engineering attacks become more sophisticated.
Jean-Marie Vliegen, an Angel investor at BAN Flanders, emphasized the importance of phishing simulations in addressing the human risk factor in cybersecurity. OutKept’s simulation approach, utilizing its community of ethical phishers, effectively mirrors real-world phishing threats, offering a cost-effective solution for awareness and education across various organizations.
Empowering Organizations with Ethical Phishers
Founded in 2020 by Simon Bauwens and Dieter Tine, OutKept’s phishing simulation platform aims to mitigate human cyber risk. The platform’s automated, high-quality phishing simulations are developed by an open community of ethical phishers, who are incentivized with bounties for crafting effective phishing emails.
Co-founder Bauwens highlighted the effectiveness of community-based models and bounty rewards in cybersecurity. OutKept’s phishing simulations, some utilizing the latest AI technologies, are enhanced by a ‘Darwinistic’ algorithm that prioritizes successful phishing emails, improving the quality of simulations and reducing interactions with phishing emails over time.
Global Operation and Competitive Landscape
The belgium company operates globally, engaging local ethical phishers in over 20 countries to conduct phishing simulations. Despite competition from established players like KnowBe4, Sophos, and Proofpoint, OutKept’s unique approach positions it as a leader in the phishing prevention space.
Utilization of Funds
The newly acquired funds will support OutKept’s international expansion and the introduction of its high-quality phishing simulations to new markets. Co-founder Tine remarked on the uniqueness of OutKept’s platform in preventing phishing through a crowdsourced community, a concept not widely available in the market.
A New Era in Phishing Prevention
With the backing of Presto Ventures, BAN Flanders, and its innovative technology, the startup is poised to redefine phishing prevention, offering organizations a powerful tool to combat cyber threats and enhance cybersecurity awareness.