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PhishLabs closes on $7M funding round, plans move to Raven Cliff development

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By Liz Segrist
lsegrist@scbiznews.com
Published Nov. 25, 2015

PhishLabs closed on a $7 million Series B funding round and plans to expand into a new project under development by the Raven Cliff Co. on the upper peninsula.

The Charleston-based cybercrime intelligence firm recently closed on the financing with Fulcrum Equity Partners of Atlanta. In early 2013, the firm also closed on a $1.25 million Series A funding round from angel investors.

PhishLabs founder and CEO John LaCour said the money will be used to continue growing the company’s cybersecurity services — including its new Spear Phishing Protection service — that defend and prevent security breaches at companies.

The 72-person company also plans to hire 30 people over the next year. LaCour said he is seeking software developers, engineers, and operations and marketing professionals.

“We expect to grow rapidly,” LaCour said.

PhishLabs also announced plans to relocate from its Beaufain Street office into 25,000 square feet in the Pacific Box & Crate project at 1505 King St. The Raven Cliff Co. plans to renovate an 80,000-square-foot warehouse there into a new office development for tech companies.

The cybersecurity firm will join BoomTown, which announced plans last month to relocate its headquarters from Rutledge Avenue to the new development.

The entire project sits on about 10 acres. Raven Cliff Co. plans to construct several other buildings as well.

A yoga and wellness studio by Ashley Bell and other tenants will join a 10,000-square-foot food hall, which will be spearheaded by Michael Shemtov of Butcher & Bee and managed by Jonathan Ory. Ory is also relocating his Bad Wolf Coffee from Chicago to the new building.

The project is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Company founding

LaCour founded PhishLabs in Charleston in 2008 after working at another cybersecurity management company.

“At the time, there weren’t many companies providing cybersecurity mitigation services and the few that were out there weren’t doing a very good job. I had some ideas about how to do it better and I felt like the market was underserved,” LaCour said. “I started the company with an eye toward top services to help companies fight against phishing attacks and other types of attacks that target people.”

The company now works with “anyone doing business online,” which includes banks, social media companies, government services and health care facilities.

“Today, there is a big market because you have threats coming from cybercriminals, in some cases from foreign governments, and from activists, or ‘hacktivists’ as we like to call them,” LaCour said. “Almost all businesses are affected by these threats today.”

Reach staff writer Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119 or @lizsegrist on Twitter.

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