TMT Blog: Cyber security

Following my blog last autumn, which focused on cyber security, British startup Darktrace has raised €58m this week from one of Wall Street’s leading investors.

Private equity firm KKR led the Series C round, with existing investor Summit Partners and new investors Southbank’s SB ISAT Fund and TenEleven Ventures also participating. Darktrace, which is developing enterprise-level security that can detect previously unrecognised threats in real-time, was founded in Cambridge in 2013.

The latest investment values the company at more than €294m, according to reports. One of Darktrace’s earliest investors was Invoke Capital, an investment and advisory firm established by Autonomy founder Mike Lynch.

The company’s most recent product, Antigena, combines probabilistic mathematics and machine learning to help companies proactively defend against emerging cyberattacks. The company’s Enterprise Immune System, on which all its technology is based, is able to detect and block threats without prior knowledge of what it is looking for – smart!

Winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation 2016, Darktrace, which has previously raised more than €35m in Series A and Series B funding, is one of the UK’s fastest-growing startups, with more than 230 employees in 20 offices across Asia, Europe, Oceania and North America.

Whilst it is still too early to see whether Darktrace will achieve the coveted ‘unicorn’ status with a valuation of $1bn, the investment from KKR is a further example of a successful British software startup attracting private equity investment from the US.