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22 January 2024·2 min read

Lisa Palchynska

Editor-in-Chief, Vestbee

Cybersecurity startup OutKept raises €500k to scale phishing simulation platform

Belgian startup OutKept has raised a €500,000 seed investment from Presto Ventures and business angels associated with BAN Flanders, as communicated by fund representatives to Vesbtee.

  • Founded by Dieter Tinela and Simon Bauwens, OutKept is a phishing simulation platform aimed at helping organizations assess their ability to resist phishing attacks. It also enhances the skills of specialists in recognizing them.
  • For these purposes, OutKept utilizes automated phishing tests created by ethical phishers to assist organizations in protecting against cyber threats. The startup’s ethical phisher community already includes a couple of hundred members, tripling in size over the course of 2023. They receive rewards for crafting successful phishing emails, similar to bug bounty programs for ethical hackers.
  • According to the startup, organizations will see a decrease in vulnerability within a month of using the OutKept platform, as displayed on a live dashboard. The interaction with phishing emails could be reduced by half.
  • The recent funding round was backed by Czech VC firm Presto Ventures, which invested €250,000 in OutKept. The remaining half of the investment came from members of BAN Flanders, a business angel network covering Belgian and cross-border investment.

“Our investment in OutKept reflects our confidence in their unique approach to tackling phishing threats. OutKept’s strategy of crowdsourcing potential phishing emails and educating their clients’ employees aligns perfectly with the current needs of enterprise security, especially in the face of increasingly sophisticated AI-fueled social engineering attacks. This proactive and educational approach is a key player in strengthening the weakest link in current enterprise cybersecurity: human awareness,” Eduard Kucera, Partner at Presto Ventures, comments on the deal.

  • OutKept already operates globally, sending phishing emails in over 20 countries with the assistance of local ethical phishers. The investment will support the startup in further geographical expansion.

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