UK cyber startup Immersive Labs acquires US-based Snap Labs — and there’s a climate angle

Cybersecurity startup Immersive Labs — which recently closed a $75 million Series C funding round giving it a significant war chest — is acquiring U.S.-based cyber startup Snap Labs in an undisclosed deal, although Immersive says it’s a “multimillion-dollar figure” and will be a mix of stock and cash. Snap Labs is understood to not have previously raised venture funding prior to this deal.

Immersive, which teaches cybersecurity skills to corporate employees by using up-to-date cyber threat intelligence in a “gamified” way, says the deal will give them new firepower in being able to help organizations develop cyber knowledge internally.

With cyber switching from being a purely tech team-led issue to becoming a company-wide, business-critical issue, Immersive’s approach seems to be garnering plenty of new business internationally. Snap Labs has a decent U.S. footprint — it currently works with Accenture, Mandiant and CrowdStrike — and will therefore significantly augment Immersive’s offering.

James Hadley, CEO of Immersive Labs, said: “The acquisition of Snap Labs will allow customers to build better cyber workforces with richly detailed realistic experiences pinpointed to the risk they face.”

Pennsylvania-based Snap Labs was founded in 2016 by co-founders Chris Myers and Barrett Adams.

Myers said: “The two platforms are a natural fit, and by combining them we hope to help our customers build even more resilience against cyber threats.”

There is also a climate angle to this. Snap Labs uses “elastic computing” which, instead of burning power by having virtual environments continually running on a server, it spins them up only when they are being used and shuts them down immediately when not. This has a positive impact on the carbon footprint of each cyberattack simulation, and a big impact collectively.

Speaking to me over a call Hadley said: “The technology from Snap Labs will let us do really cool stuff for customers, namely letting companies recreate virtual versions of their own networks… We’ll let our customers create and replicate their own networks or anything they want to do, like on a really complex scale, so they can then battle test their teams against malware or penetration testing.”

Immersive Labs also back the charity TechVets, which trains U.K. military veterans in cyber careers, for free.