Acquisitions / Cybersecurity / Startups

Cybersecurity training startup Ataata acquired by Mimecast

The Bethesda, Md.–based startup offers training videos to companies that raise awareness about cybersecurity among employees.

Updated to include comments from Mimecast at 1:30 p.m., 7/11/18.

Publicly-traded cybersecurity company Mimecast announced the acquisition on Tuesday of Bethesda, Md.–based startup Ataata.

Founded in 2016, Ataata seeks to help companies raise awareness about cybersecurity among employees. As DC reported last year, the startup’s founders believe educating and training employees can help reduce human error that could lead to a breach. To do so, it offers video content that’s designed to get employees to buy into security, rather than just viewing it as compliance. The company announced $3 million in Series A funding in December.

Mimecast, which is based in Lexington, Mass, specializes in securing email.  According to Mimecast, the acquisition will bring an offering that allows companies to provide training based on areas where an employee needs improvement in security.

“We’re excited to join forces with Mimecast to help customers build a stronger cyber resilience strategy that includes robust content, risk scoring and real-world attack simulation – going way beyond basic security awareness capabilities,” Ataata CEO Michael Madon said in a statement.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

(Update, 7/11/18, 1:30 p.m.)

According to Mimecast Chief Strategy Officer Christina Van Houten, Ataata will be integrated into Mimecast’s core platform, as the company seeks to “provide something even more compelling and differentiated to customers.” Ataata added more than 80 customers since launching in the fall of 2017, and Mimecast sees opportunity for growth through its sales and marketing resources.

“While the solution platforms will become more tightly integrated over time and offer an even more compelling value proposition for customers, the current offering is immediately relevant and valuable to all of Mimecast’s target audiences,” Van Houten said via email. “In the near-term, our focus will be on achieving success through cross-sell into the Mimecast base and bundle it in as part of a broader suite for net new prospects.”

It’s seen as a complementary offering to Mimecast’s existing technology, and offers a way for the company to offer a “more holistic” platform for customers.

“User awareness presents a massive opportunity for Mimecast, perfectly complementing our core messaging security offerings, Van Houten said. “While 91 percent of attacks come through email, 95% of all breaches involve some sort of human error.  What Ataata has created with their portfolio of video content that engages end users through humor is something extraordinary that has captured attention from big brands across all major verticals.”

Ataata has fewer than 20 employees, all of whom will join Mimecast.

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