KKR-backed KnowBe4 valued at over $3.5 billion in strong Nasdaq debut

Platform News: KKR investments

Cybersecurity vendor KnowBe4 Inc has joined a string of technology-focused companies that saw strong market debuts in the US this year, after its shares opened nearly 25% above their offer price on Nasdaq.

The company, backed by private equity firm KKR & Co, gained a valuation of $3.56 billion in afternoon trading when its shares were up 33%. They opened at $19.95, above the initial offering price of $16.

KnowBe4 on Wednesday priced its offering of 9.5 million shares at the lower end of a range announced earlier, for a total raise of $152 million. Excluding proceeds from shares offered by the selling stockholders, the company would receive around $144 million.

Founded in 2010 by Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4 allows clients to simulate phishing attacks on their employees and check how well they are protected. It also offers security awareness training.

A part of the proceeds would be used to expand further into international markets including the UK and Japan, Sjouwerman said.

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The debut for the Clearwater, Florida-based firm comes at a time of frenetic activity in US capital markets, with tech firms including cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc and automation software provider UiPath witnessing solid market debuts.

Demand for KnowBe4’s services increased during the coronavirus pandemic, as companies spent more to protect the IT systems of employees working from home.

“It’s going to take a long time before things return to normal and people come back to office, so we don’t see a major change in the growth trajectory in the near future,” Sjouwerman said.

We reported on the company’s IPO plans last year.

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, BofA Securities and KKR Capital Markets were the lead underwriters for the offering.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Translation from English to a growing list of other languages via Google AI Cloud Translation. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru. Editing by Ramakrishnan M.

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