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27 September, 2018 - 12:50 By Tony Quested

AI cybersecurity star Darktrace marks Cambridge expansion with $50m raise for $1.65bn valuation

Cambridge UK cybersecurity technology business Darktrace has cashed in on its world leadership position to raise an extra $50 million to hoist its valuation to $1.65 billion.

The Series E success marks a phenomenal spurt of growth for Darktrace which is zooming towards $2bn valuation just 18 months after being named Business Weekly’s Business of the Year.

CEO Nicole Eagan said the cash would be used to fund further global growth. Darktrace has just expanded its R & D nervecentre in Cambridge. It has seen a massive upsurge in cyber defence work for international airports.

The company has grown its employee headcount by 60 per cent in the last 12 months, with global headcount now topping 750.

To keep pace with soaring global demand for its technology – honed within Cambridge University – Darktrace has accelerated its global operations, opening eight new offices in the last year including locations in Los Angeles, Mexico City and São Paulo, as well as tripling the size of its Asian headquarters in Singapore on top of the Cambridge hothouse expansion.

Nicole Eagan said: “Darktrace continues to enjoy strong growth in new and existing geographies, and is now the most widely used Enterprise AI on the market. 

“The increase in our valuation in just a few months is testament to the fundamental power of our Enterprise Immune System. As we begin to see real-world attacks leveraging offensive AI, Darktrace will be indispensable in keeping defenders one step ahead.”

The Series E investment has been led by Vitruvian Partners with participation from existing investors KKR and 1011 Ventures.

Since its last funding, Darktrace has more than doubled its number of deployments and is now finding threats that other tools miss in over 7,000 networks. It became Cambridge’s 16th billion dollar business at the end of May.

The company’s rapidly growing roster of customers includes eight major international airports including London Gatwick Airport and Milan-Bergamo Orio Al Serio International Airport, the world-leading Science Museum Group, as well as a number of global financial institutions such as AIG, AEGON Sony Life Insurance and Ipreo.

Sophie Bower-Straziota, managing director at Vitruvian, said: “Darktrace has built a unique combination of world-class AI capabilities, deep cyber domain expertise, and a highly effective business model. This has rapidly created scale and a leading edge over all competitors.

“Most excitingly, the sophistication and quality of Darktrace’s AI is evidenced by the rapid success of its autonomous response system, Antigena, the first of its kind in the market.”

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