Ben Jones

The Next Chapter for Searchlight Cyber

Our co-founders Ben Jones and Dr. Gareth Owenson explain what new investment from Charlesbank Capital Partners means for the future of Searchlight Cyber.

Exciting News for Searchlight Cyber

Today we have announced that Searchlight has taken investment from Charlesbank Capital Partners, a private investment firm based in Boston and New York.

This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the company, as we build on the rapid growth the business has achieved over the past few years with more capital to invest into innovation, our products, and team.

We were only able to raise this investment because of the fantastic things we have already accomplished, and we’d like to take this opportunity to firstly thank every single one of our employees for the contribution they have made to Searchlight. Our entire business rests on the foundation of the expertise, skills, and dedication of our team, and we would not be in the position we are in now without them.

The Story So Far

We founded Searchlight in 2017 to help solve a major problem: criminals acting with impunity on the dark web.

At the time we were focused on working with the law enforcement community, sharing our expertise on the dark web and developing bespoke tools that they could use to investigate criminal activity taking place on hidden forums, marketplaces, and sites. Cerberus, our dark web investigation platform, was built in collaboration with government agencies but it soon became clear that there was an even larger market demand to be addressed.

We identified that enterprises also had a requirement to investigate activity on the dark web – to identify if they were being targeted by cybercriminals, if any of their data had already been stolen, and to gather threat intelligence that would help them better understand their adversaries.

In 2020 we took investment from Astra Capital Management, a Washington D.C.-based private equity firm, which enabled us to expand into the enterprise market, develop our dark web monitoring solution DarkIQ, and grow our company into the US with a team based out of Washington D.C.

Over the past three years the company has gone through incredible growth: our headcount has more than doubled, we have gained customers across Europe and the United States, and have built a network of partners that forms a major part of our go to market strategy. We have also led the cybersecurity and dark web intelligence market with unique features including our Ransomware Search and Insights module, the Stealth Browser, and Dark Web Traffic Monitoring.

Most importantly for us, we have seen the impact of our dark web intelligence solutions first hand – both in the private and public sectors. We have been involved in some of the world’s largest dark web investigations and are proud of our role in helping law enforcement to bring criminals to justice. We have also helped prevent cyberattacks against organizations, by identifying cybercriminals targeting them on the dark web while they were still in the early stages of their attacks.

It has been a hugely rewarding journey so far and today’s announcement will enable us to go even further.

Plans for the Future

We are thrilled to have brought Charlesbank on board. Their extensive experience in scaling companies and deep expertise in the cybersecurity industry makes them the ideal partner to support our business as we build on our momentum.

Our immediate priority is to use this investment to accelerate research and development, drive innovation in our platform, and deliver first-to-market features that help our customers stay one step ahead of attackers.

This will include an expansion of our product and development team. We are also incorporating new AI capabilities that will help our customers respond to dark web threats faster – stay tuned for some exciting announcements on this front in the weeks and months ahead.

We are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished as a company to date and strongly believe that this latest investment, and our relationship with Charlesbank, will allow us to reach even greater heights.

Ben Jones & Dr. Gareth Owenson, Co-Founders of Searchlight Cyber