Hack The Box, the world’s largest hacking community, has raised £45m ($55m) in Series B funding led by the Carlyle Group.

The international cyber security training firm, which was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in Kent, has 1.7 million members and has grown by 200 per cent in the last year.

The Series B investment round of £45m was led by Carlyle, alongside Paladin Capital Group, Osage University Partners, Marathon Venture Capital, Brighteye Ventures and Endeavor Catalyst Fund.

The new investment will accelerate Hack The Box’s growth aspirations with a focus on further building out its category-defining ‘gamer-first’ solutions offering.

The business will also enhance its go-to-market function, doubling down on the company’s ongoing international expansion with strong commercial traction in the US, Europe and APAC.

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Haris Pylarinos, founder and CEO at Hack The Box, said:  “Our mission is to create and connect cyber-ready humans and organizations through highly engaging hacking experiences that cultivate out-of-the-box thinking.

“The game in cyber has changed with defensive, reactive and recovery postures not being fit-for-purpose in the face of an ever-increasing and ever-evolving wave of sophisticated attacks.

“A new proactive offensive and defensive approach is needed to take the fight to cybercriminals rather than waiting to be hit. From individual security professionals to companies, this means adopting a ‘hacker mindset’, learning to think and act like an attacker. This is the kind of mindset that we cultivate through Hack The Box.”

Hack The Box has continued to attract investor interest due to its highly engaging adversarial cyber up- and reskilling solutions that are powered by ultra-realistic coding gameplay and thereby effectively advance the security readiness of Hack The Box’s rising number of blue-chip enterprise and government customers.

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Following the investment Hack The Box will continue to invest heavily in R&D.

Hack The Box offers a 360° platform that not only enables individuals, businesses, government institutions and universities to level up their offensive and defensive security skills, but also provides access to job opportunities in cybersecurity, thus addressing the industry’s serious talent shortage.

Constantin Boye, a Director at Carlyle, said: “The demands on security and IT professionals have never been greater. An industry-wide talent shortage and an exponentially growing number of cyber threats place great importance on professionals and organisations to maintain best-in-class security practices.

“Hack The Box is a pioneer in constantly providing fresh and curated training and upskilling content, in a fully gamified and intuitive environment, enabling individuals and organizations to tackle real-world hacking problems. We are excited for the next stage of Hack The Box’s evolution and are proud to be part of this journey.”

The latest Series B funding takes Hack The Box’s total amount of capital raised to date to £57m ($70m), reinforcing the company’s position within the global cybersecurity ecosystem.