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KnowBe4 wraps up 2019 in a big way

Margie Manning

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KnowBe4's downtown Clearwater headquarters featured a temporary building wrap.

KnowBe4 doesn’t want to keep its 27 consecutive quarters of sales growth under wraps.

On Monday, the cybersecurity training company displayed its sales gains on a massive banner that wrapped around the outside of its downtown Clearwater headquarters. CEO Stu Sjouwerman was depicted perched on top of a chart, with bars that each represented double-digit quarterly growth.

“2019 was a super successful year for KnowBe4 and we’re looking forward to another record-setting year in 2020,” Sjouwerman said in a news release.

The company released percentage gains, not dollar figures. But with 50 percent or more sales gains in each of the four quarters of 2019, KnowBe4 easily is on track to top the $72.3 million in revenue it reported to Inc. magazine for 2018.

Customers have been growing steadily as well, from almost 23,000 at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018 to 30,000 at the end of Q4 2019.

Sjouwerman said the company’s success shows that there’s a huge need for effective security awareness training. KnowBe4 provides that training to its customers’ workers so they can operate on the internet more safely. It offers a simulated phishing to address the problem of social engineering.

KnowBe4 is the Tampa-St. Pete area’s only technology “unicorn” with a valuation topping $1 billion. A $300 million investment last spring led by private equity giant KKR kicked off a series of milestones. In the fourth quarter alone, KnowBe4 was named a “Best Workplace” by Glassdoor and by Fortune. The company made several key leadership hires, and Gerhard Watzinger, chairman of the board of directors of Silicon Valley-based cybersecurity company CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: CRWD), joined the KnowBe4 board of directors

KnowB4 also released several research initiatives, launched a security assessment tool, unveiled a new partner program and portal to better enable channel partners and achieved FedRAMP Authorization from the U.S. government.

The building wrap was a big way to celebrate the achievements. It was made up of a series of printed mesh banners, each about 50 feet wide and 150 feet high, and fabricated with Britten architectural mesh. Nylon seat belt webbing-reinforced connection points tied the banner to the building façade.

It was displayed on the building all day Monday Jan. 6 and removed Monday night.

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