Darktrace confirms plans for a London IPO

12 Apr 2021

Image: © piter2121/Stock.adobe.com

The cybersecurity company is hoping to have a better public market showing than Deliveroo as it prepares to float in the City.

Darktrace, the British cybersecurity firm, has confirmed its intentions for an IPO in London that could value the company at up to $4bn.

The Cambridge-based company has become a large player in the global cybersecurity market since it was founded in 2013 with its heavy focus on AI and automation.

In documents filed with the London Stock Exchange, the company revealed that its revenue for the year ending June 2020 grew to $199.1m at a compound annual growth rate of 58.3pc, with a net loss of $28.6m.

Bloomberg reported that the IPO could value the company between $3m and $4m. It has raised more than $230m to date from investors including Balderton Capital and Insight Partners. Embattled businessman Mike Lynch also backed the company but stepped down from its board in 2018.

“Our intention to list on the London Stock Exchange marks a major milestone in Darktrace’s history of rapid growth, and a historic day for the UK’s thriving technology sector,” chief executive Poppy Gustaffsson, who is expected to reap around £20m from the listing, said.

“Since our foundation in 2013, our mission has been to apply fundamental technology to one of the most critical challenges facing organisations in all sectors: cybersecurity.”

It will be the next major tech IPO in London after the recent less-than-impressive showing by Deliveroo.

London is on a mission to attract more high-profile tech listings, especially for its indigenous companies, instead of those companies looking to New York.

Deliveroo plummeted some 30pc in its stock market debut two weeks ago, having anticipated a valuation of around £7bn. Today (12 April) its shares sunk to their lowest yet.

The IPO has been a sobering moment for tech listings but has not shaken Darktrace’s intentions. It is an altogether different business compared to Deliveroo, which faces lingering concerns regarding its gig-worker model.

Darktrace will not use a dual-class share structure for its listing, the type employed by Deliveroo that allowed its chief executive Will Shu to retain a great deal of control.

The funds raised from the listing are expected to be invested in further growth and expansion of Darktrace’s operations, including growing its headcount. It employs around 1,500 people across several offices including an outpost in Dublin.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin