A cybersecurity firm that has been lauded as one of the UK's most successful start ups is close to achieving "unicorn status" four and half years after its launch.
Cambridge-based Darktrace, which was set up by a mix of mathematicians and government intelligence experts, started off at a value of £15 through the investment of co-founder Poppy Gustafsson, who was named as City A.M.'s entrepreneur of the year last year.
A company achieves unicorn status when it hits the $1bn dollar mark. Darktrace was valued at $825m last summer and would have to take on additional finance to meet the benchmark.
Gustafsson said Darktrace had had its "foot to the floor" in terms of growth and was mulling expansion into industrial control systems. "We launched Darktrace Industrial which has a real focus on all of those organisations that keep societies running, like water purification systems, energy supply or traffic light systems that enable us to run an efficient and smooth-running society," she said.
"We're making sure our product is one that can help those guys who often have very complicated data sets and tend to be less noisy than a corporate network, but are more important in terms of their operating effectively. A very small change in a particular dial or pump, for example, could have a catastrophic impact."
The Latin American and Asia Pacific regions have also been earmarked for business growth by Darktrace, which currently has 32 offices around the world and more than 620 employees.
Darktrace has been named as one of the UK's fastest growing companies for 2018, alongside fellow Cambridge business Featurespace.