Massive open online course provider Cybrary has just received a $400,000 round of funding that will allow it to expand its free cybersecurity courses.
Cybrary, which was only founded this year, has taught more than 175,000 students already, 84,000 of whom took courses in July alone, writes Tim Conneally of Forbes. Offered courses include penetration testing, ethical hacking, cryptography, and CompTIA certification, among other topics that are expanded upon each month. Cybrary plans on targeting its services to historically underserved populations, including helping women and people of color to access technology education.
This July, Cybrary partnered up with DC-based Cornerstone to teach its specialties to female refugees in the nation’s capital. It has also developed a platform to train teachers to plan and understand cybersecurity curricula, and another platform to help organizations manage cybersecurity training for their employees. In a recent eport of the top 100 brands in cyber security, the fledgling Cybrary was rated #51.
Maddy Suresh of the Tech Bulletin quoted co-founder of Cybrary, Ryan Corey, on its ambitious goals aligned with the sector’s needs:
Our vision is to make Cybrary the largest and most influential online cyber security community. One that is fueled by free learning and a robust job and resume market for tackling the the industry skills and talent gap. We want to foster a community where users can showcase their profiles, share their accomplishments and contribute to the learning of others through free education.
Cybersecurity education is a hot topic because of an increasing demand for trained cybersecurity professionals. In January of this year, Vice President Joe Biden and the Department of Energy pledged $25 million to cybersecurity education to meet a demand for professionals that is growing 12 times faster than the general jobs market in the US. India’s demand for cybersecurity specialists is expected to reach one million by 2020. Cybrary plans to help meet these needs, since it appeals to worldwide users: despite being formed in Maryland, only 26% of its sign-ups have been based in the US.
This round of funding was led by Inner Loop Capital and New Stack Ventures. Inner Loop Capital, and its principal investor Justin Label, makes investments in early-stage cybersecurity companies in the Baltimore and Washington area. New Stack Ventures is based in Chicago and includes Nick Moran, host of a popular podcast on investing, The Full Ratchet.
With the money, Cybrary plans to put new marketing strategies into play, boost its community, and introduce new courses, particularly those for advanced levels.