Illusive Utilizes $15M Flexible Growth Financing from Vistara Enabling a Successful Exit to Thoma Bravo Backed Proofpoint

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We are pleased to announce our US$15M investment in Illusive and their subsequent acquisition by Thoma Bravo backed Proofpoint.  Illusive had sought an investment partner with flexible investment structures that could finance longer-term growth while also cost-effectively accommodating a potential shorter-term exit.

Illusive is a leader and pioneer in Identity Threat Detection and Response (ITDR). Founded by nation-state attackers, their technology is trusted by large global financial, retail, services, and pharmaceutical companies. Illusive has participated in over 140 red team exercises and has never lost one! The firm takes away the one thing attackers need to be successful – access to privileged identities. Despite best-practice investments to protect identities, including deployment of Privileged Account Management (PAM) and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), exploitable identity vulnerabilities are present on 1 in 6 enterprise endpoints. Vistara’s John O’Donoghue commented:

We were very excited to partner with Illusive, as we believed that their ITDR Spotlight offering serves a real market need and that they had a strong track record of execution as borne out by the success of their Shadow deception product too. It’s clear that Proofpoint share the same view and while we would have loved to work with the Illusive team for the long term it is gratifying to see that our tailored financing solution helped them to realize a successful outcome for all of the stakeholders involved.”

When asked about his experience and relationship with Vistara, CEO of Illusive, Ofer Israeli stated:

It was important for us to find a partner that not only understood our industry but our business goals and unique needs as well. From the very beginning, the team at Vistara took the time to get to know our company in depth and worked closely with us to put together a flexible financing solution that gave us the runway we needed to continue our growth while enabling us to keep all our long and short term financing and strategic options open, leading to our successful exit. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome, and we believe that our partnership with Vistara was a key factor in our success. Thank you to the entire Vistara team for their support and expertise.” 

Proofpoint Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Illusive

Identity Threat Detection and Response technology extends Proofpoint’s people-centric security vision to thwart identity-based breaches, including ransomware

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Dec. 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Proofpoint Inc., a leading cybersecurity and compliance company, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Illusive, a leader and pioneer in Identity Threat Detection and Response (ITDR)​. The acquisition is expected to close by January 2023, subject to customary closing conditions.

With this acquisition, Proofpoint will enhance its market-leading threat and information protection platforms by adding proactive identity risk discovery and remediation as well as a strong post-breach defense capability, providing a unified solution that extends protection across the entire attack chain for critical threats like ransomware​ and data breaches.

The global increase in cyberattacks has been enabled by attackers shifting their tactics and focus to identity-based attacks, with 84% of organizations falling victim to an identity-related breach in the past year. These attacks traverse through identities – from privilege escalation to lateral movement and abuse of Active Directory and cloud environments, such as Microsoft 365. With Illusive, Proofpoint’s unique visibility into the identities that are attacked and vulnerable across an organization will equip enterprises with unprecedented insights into their privileged access attack surface and uniquely powerful control to better protect their Very Attacked People (VAPs).

“It’s currently far too easy for an attacker to turn one compromised identity into an organization-wide ransomware incident or data breach,” said Ryan Kalember, executive vice president, cybersecurity strategy, Proofpoint. “The acquisition of Illusive reinforces Proofpoint’s commitment to innovation and growth, bringing market-defining technology to make threat actors’ jobs as difficult as possible.”

Illusive’s solutions are trusted by leading multinational corporations, protecting some of the world’s best-known brands by taking away what attackers need to complete their crime: privileged account access.

“Illusive is solving a problem that others cannot by focusing on protecting identity security vulnerabilities and stopping the menace of ransomware, which has galvanized worldwide demand for our solution,” said Ofer Israeli, founder and CEO, Illusive. “We are thrilled to join Proofpoint and add our unique approach to ITDR to its people-centric security vision, helping organizations remediate privileged identity risks and understand potential ramifications of compromise, such as access to critical data and intellectual property.”

Together, Proofpoint and Illusive will deliver comprehensive identity security as part of Proofpoint’s threat protection platform including:

  • Automatic discovery and remediation of identity vulnerabilities before attackers exploit them with Illusive Spotlight™: with its agentless approach, Illusive Spotlight delivers unparalleled visibility into vulnerable identities by scanning directory structures (e.g., Active Directory), privileged access management (PAM) solutions, endpoints, servers and services, revealing the gaps between the intention of an organization’s identity security policies and the reality of their environment.
  • Detection and response to identity threats to stop privilege escalation and lateral movement to critical assets with Illusive Shadow™: unlike other deception technologies that deploy agents or honeypots which can tip off or be exploited by the attacker, Illusive Shadow’s agentless architecture prevents attacker detection and is undefeated in over 150 red team exercises. It allows organizations to deterministically accelerate threat detection by identifying threats based on attacker interaction with deceptions, not probabilistic controls based on signatures or behaviors.

About Proofpoint, Inc.

Proofpoint, Inc. is a leading cybersecurity and compliance company that protects organizations’ greatest assets and biggest risks: their people. With an integrated suite of cloud-based solutions, Proofpoint helps companies around the world stop targeted threats, safeguard their data, and make their users more resilient against cyber attacks. Leading organizations of all sizes, including 75 percent of the Fortune 100, rely on Proofpoint for people-centric security and compliance solutions that mitigate their most critical risks across email, the cloud, social media, and the web. More information is available at

Proofpoint is a registered trademark or tradename of Proofpoint, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

About Illusive

lllusive continuously discovers and automatically remediates privileged identity risks that are exploited in all ransomware and other cyberattacks. Despite best-practice investments to protect identities, including deployment of PAM and MFA, one in six enterprise endpoints holds exploitable identity risks. Illusive makes it easy for security teams to get visibility into the vulnerable identities sprawled across an organization’s endpoints and servers, eliminating them or deploying deception-based detection techniques as a compensating control to stop attackers. Illusive has participated in over 150 red team exercises and has never lost one. Founded by nation-state cyber experts, Illusive’s technology is trusted by large global financial companies, retailers, services organizations, and pharmaceutical companies.

About Vistara Growth

Vistara Growth provides highly flexible growth debt and equity solutions to leading technology companies across North America. Founded, managed, and funded by seasoned technology finance and operating executives, “Vistara” (Sanskrit for “expansion”) is focused on enabling growth for the ambitious entrepreneurs we invest in, our investors, our people, and the communities we operate in.  For more information, visit

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