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Darktrace raises $50m as valuation reaches $1.65bn


By Paul Brackley


Emily Orton at Darktrace. Picture: Keith Heppell
Emily Orton at Darktrace. Picture: Keith Heppell

Cambridge cyber defence company counts eight international airports and global financial institutions among its clients

Nicole Eagan, CEO at Darktrace
Nicole Eagan, CEO at Darktrace

The seemingly inexorable rise of Darktrace looks set to continue after it raised $50million in a Series E funding round that values the company at an eye-watering $1.65billion.

The Cambridge cyber-defence company, settling into life in its sparkling new premises at the Maurice Wilkes building on St John’s Innovation Park, confirmed that adoption of its Darktrace Antigena product has risen by 30 per cent in the last quarter alone.

Using artificial intelligence to spot patterns of abnormal behaviour on networks, the system responds within two seconds to the earliest signs of threat.

Darktrace has grown its headcount by 60 per cent in a year and now employs 750 people worldwide.

Emily Orton at Darktrace. Picture: Keith Heppell
Emily Orton at Darktrace. Picture: Keith Heppell

The move to the Maurice Wilkes building has expanded its key R&D centre, while internationally it has opened eight new offices in the last year, including in Los Angeles, Mexico City and São Paulo, while tripling the size of its Asian headquarters in Singapore. This latest funding round – led by Vitruvian Partners, with participation from existing investors KKR and 1011 Ventures – will drive further international expansion and development.

Sophie Bower-Straziota, managing director at Vitruvian, said: “Darktrace has built a unique combination of world-class AI capabilities, deep cyber domain expertise, and a highly effective business model. This has rapidly created scale and a leading edge over all competitors.

“Most excitingly, the sophistication and quality of Darktrace’s AI is evidenced by the rapid success of its autonomous response system, Antigena, the first of its kind in the market.

“We are delighted to be leading this financing round, as Darktrace represents exactly the type of highly innovative company Vitruvian seeks to invest behind and support.”

Sally Epstein of, Darktrace. Picture: Keith Heppell
Sally Epstein of, Darktrace. Picture: Keith Heppell

As its valuation soars skywards, Darktrace now counts eight major international airports among its customers, including London Gatwick Airport and Milan-Bergamo Orio Al Serio International Airport.

The Science Museum Group and a number of global financial institutions such as AIG, AEGON Sony Life Insurance and Ipreo are also using Darktrace’s technology.

Darktrace CEO Nicole Eagan said: “Darktrace continues to enjoy strong growth in new and existing geographies, and is now the most widely used Enterprise AI on the market.

“The increase in our valuation in just a few months is testament to the fundamental power of our Enterprise Immune System. As we begin to see real-world attacks leveraging offensive AI, Darktrace will be indispensable in keeping defenders one step ahead.”

Its new capabilities include autonomous response for cloud, and protection against sophisticated email attack campaigns with the recently-launched Antigena v2.

Stephen Shanley, director at KKR, said: “We continue to be impressed by the speed of execution and innovation at Darktrace.

“Over the past two years of our partnership, we have seen Darktrace evolve from a promising start-up to a clear leader in the global security market.

“We are very happy to be participating in this round and look forward to continuing to support Darktrace moving forward.”

Alex Doll, founder of 1011 Ventures, added: “Darktrace is on its way to becoming a true security platform – successfully expanding from its pioneering role in network security, into cloud and email, the company has now demonstrated its ability to apply its core AI technology to multiple adjacent market segments.”

Darktrace was founded in 2013 by University of Cambridge mathematicians and government cyber-intelligence experts in the UK and US.

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