Cybersecurity Firm Darktrace Seeks London IPO


The British cybersecurity firm Darktrace said it is planning to go public on the London Stock Exchange, an initial public offering (IPO) that could value the company at $4 billion, according to published reports.

Darktrace uses artificial intelligence (AI) to ferret out threats to IT systems, with a self-learning technology that the company says can track threats in real time while strategizing on ways to respond. Founded in 2013, the company said in a statement issued on Monday (April 12) that it is considering applying to have its shares admitted to the premium segment of the Official List of the FCA and for trading on the London Stock Exchange’s main market.

“Our intention to list on the London Stock Exchange marks a major milestone in Darktrace’s history of rapid growth, and a historic day for the U.K.’s thriving technology sector,” Poppy Gustafsson, Darktrace’s CEO and co-founder, said in the announcement. “We are proud to be part of that tradition of British innovation, as the U.K. becomes a leading global center for the development of AI.”

The Wall Street Journal, citing “people familiar with the matter,” said Darktrace is aiming for a valuation as high as $4 billion in its IPO, which could generate $350 million to $400 million. The Journal noted that one of the biggest challenges facing Darktrace involves one of its key investors.

Mike Lynch, an early financial backer of Darktrace, is facing legal trouble in the U.S. over the sale of his previous company, Autonomy, to Hewlett Packard. The Journal report noted that Darktrace will need to convince investors that this issue will not have any legal or regulatory repercussions for the company.

The announcement comes at a time when cybersecurity expertise is in high demand. As PYMNTS reported last month, payments fraud rose by 47 percent in 2020 due to a host of new consumers living almost completely digital lifestyles. It also comes one week after a report that the EU experienced a “significant” cyberattack on several high-profile institutions