A UK-founded cyber security startup backed by Mike Lynch, who sold his previous business to HP for billions, has landed millions of pounds in new funding from investors.
Cambridge and San Francisco-based Darktrace has closed a $65m (£50m) round of funding lead by Wall Street private equity giant KKR. TenEleven Ventures and SoftBank's SB ISAT fund are new investors in the round and were joined by existing investor Summit Partners.
“Securing the backing of another leading global investor like KKR is an important milestone for Darktrace and a strong validation of the technology we have developed," said founder Nicole Eagan. "With such a group of world-class investors we have an incredibly strong base to realise our full potential.”
KKR's Stephen Shanley, principle of its tech growth equity team, said:
We are highly impressed by the Darktrace team and the uniqueness of the product they have built. Advancements in cyber security is one of KKR’s core investment themes and Darktrace has established a strong leadership position in the space due to the differentiation of its product – which can detect threats that other cyber solutions fail to identify.
The latest investment brings total funding of the three-year-old firm to more than $100m and values it at an estimated $400m.
Previous investors in Darktrace – named one of the World Economic Forum's most pioneering tech companies among only four other UK companies – include Lynch's Invoke Capital and Hoxton Ventures.
The increasing risks of data hacks and leaks, including high profile breaches of Talk Talk and the Panama Papers, have helped the sector helping business battle the threats surge.
Funding of cyber security startups hit a record high of $3.8bn in 2015, more than doubling since 2011 according to data from CB Insights.