Hot UK cyber security startup Darktrace raises $75m series D at $825m valuation

Lynsey Barber
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Artificial intelligence is used by Darktrace to fight cyber threats (Source: Getty)

One of the Uk's hottest startups has millions of pounds in fresh funding, pushing the firm's valuation surging past the half a billion dollars mark.

Cyber security startup Darktrace has raised $75m (£58m) in a series D round of funding, valuing it at $825m, almost double of what it was when it raised $65m this time last year.

The Cambridge-founded four-year-old startup was valued at $500m in October City A.M. exclusively revealed, as a result of organic growth.

Read more: French VC firm Partech is “eager to invest more” in the UK's tech startups

The fresh cash comes from Insight Venture Partners, a new investor which led the round, with existing investors Summit Partners, KKR and TenEleven Ventures coming back for more.

It brings total finding for the startup which has also been backed by Mike Lynch, the founder of Autonomy and one of the UK's most successful entrepreneurs, to $179.5m according to Crunchbase.

Darktrace's growth continues apace, with staff numbers doubling in the past 12 months to 500, the total value of its contracts with businesses such as British Land and Metro Bank worth $200m, up 140 per cent on the previous year the startup said.

"It marks another critical milestone for the company as we experience unprecedented growth in the US market and are rapidly expanding across Latin America and Asia Pacific in particular, as organisations are increasingly turning to our artificial intelligence (AI) approach to enhance their resilience to cyber-attackers," said chief executive Nicole Egan.

Darktrace's innovative Enterprise Immune System product uses AI to monitor company's systems, spotting any unusual activity and potential breaches as it happens rather than after the fact, and alerting

Read more: This Woodford-backed startup just raised £10m to bring tech to the NHS

Darktrace boasts cyber security experts from top spy agencies in the US and UK on staff and has often been heralded as one of the UK's star startups receiving several accolades from the World Economic Forum, Gartner and Bloomberg among them.

It has said its ultimate ambition is to IPO, speaking to City A.M., signalling the UK's ability to produce commercially successful startups.

The large investment is a seal of approval for UK tech after the vote for Brexit, which had caused concern among many in terms of attracting cash. Just yesterday French VC firm Partech Ventures signalled the UK remained hugely attractive despite the country's vague plans to leave the EU.

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