UK Darktrace eyes $4bn London IPO

Photo: EPA

UK cyber security company Darktrace backed by tech entrepreneur Mike Lynch announced it was launching an estimated $4 billion London listing, Reuters reported. The main objectives linked to the IPO plans were tied to securing new funds to accelerate product development and strengthen its balance sheet. Darktrace was founded in 2013 in the university city of Cambridge. It uses AI to understand IT networks and detect attacks by identifying unusual behaviour.

“We are in a new era of attacks...it’s going to be these little pieces of code fighting it out in the background of our businesses,” said Chief Executive Poppy Gustafsson in an interview with Reuters, calling the planned listing a major milestone for the company. Darktrace, which counts Rolls-Royce and Coca-Cola among its customers, was the first company to apply AI to the challenge of cyber security, she said, and its technology currently interrupts a threat once every second. A source familiar with the transaction told earlier this year the company would target a $4 billion valuation.

Darktrace was an early investment by Lynch’s venture fund Invoke Capital, established after software company Autonomy was sold to Hewlett-Packard for $11 billion.

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