Darktrace Raises £50m Funding For Cyber Defence Push

CyberCrimeSecuritySecurity Management
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Another round of funding for cyber-security firm backed by former Autonomy boss Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch-backed security firm Darktrace has secured another tranche of funding that it says will be used to “further accelerate the global roll-out” of its Enterprise Immune System technology.

The Cambridge-based company has received $65m in funding, which in real money translates to £50.2m, depending on the value of the pound following the Brexit vote.

International Expansion

Darktrace is a growing presence in the cyber security market and says it has recorded over 600 percent revenue growth in its latest financial year, and boasts over 1,000 customer deployments. Darktrace was one of Lynch’s first investments after he resigned from HP in 2012 amid acrimonious allegations over the Autonomy purchase.

mike lynchThe ‘Enterprise Immune System‘ claims to detect all kinds of threat present on a network and provides real time data to organisations allowing them to better understand the nature of attacks and to mitigate the actions of the attackers.

The technology uses machine learning techniques based on the biological principles of the human immune system.

In March last year BT announced it would offer Darktrace’s ‘Enterprise Immune System’ to customers through BT Assure managed security services. It also said it would use the technology bolster its own defences from threats.

The Series C funding round was led by investment firm KKR, with participation from existing investor Summit Partners, and new investors TenEleven Ventures and SoftBank-affiliated SB ISAT Fund.

This time last year venture capitalist Summit Partners supplied $22.5 million (£14.4m) in Series B funding, which came just months the firm had raised $18 million (£11.5m).

“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 Darktrace CEO Nicole Eagan. “We chose to partner with KKR because of their unique global network to support our international expansion and rich history of enterprise building in the technology sector.

Cyber Funding

“Darktrace has shown outstanding technology innovation and sales momentum since we partnered with them,” said Han Sikkens, managing director at Summit Partners.

“Its Enterprise Immune System technology has been adopted by some of the most respected and cyber-conscious companies the world over and we believe it serves as a crucial element of these organisations’ cyber security operations.”

This latest round of funding for Darktrace comes amid a growing realisation of the need to invest in cyber security. Earlier this week, the European Commission (EC) launched a public-private partnership on cybersecurity worth €1.8 billion (£1.5bn) in an effort to better equip Europe against cyberattacks.

The investment, which should be completed by 2020, is hoped to strengthen the competitiveness of Europe’s cybersecurity sector.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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