Darktrace shares surge 40pc in stock market debut

30 Apr 2021

Image: © piter2121/Stock.adobe.com

The cybersecurity company had a strong opening day on the London Stock Exchange – in stark contrast to Deliveroo’s recent listing.

Darktrace opened trading on the London Stock Exchange with a bang as shares surged more than 40pc.

The Cambridge-based cybersecurity company set its share price at £2.50, which valued the company at £1.7bn, but this quickly rose later this morning (30 April).

The positive opening day will go some way to washing away the bad taste of Deliveroo’s IPO several weeks ago. The food delivery firm’s much-hyped flotation dropped 30pc in its first day.

While there are vast differences between Darktrace and Deliveroo in their business models, London is attempting to attract big-name tech listings to the City post-Brexit and Darktrace’s performance will be welcomed in making a much better second impression.

Vasile Foca, managing partner at Talis Capital, which led Darktrace’s Series A round in 2015, said the IPO is a “landmark event for the London Stock Exchange and the British technology sector”.

“London was the natural choice for Darktrace’s IPO listing: the company’s roots are in Cambridge and its heritage is deeply embedded within the country’s thriving security sector,” Foca said.

“As one of their first investors, we’re incredibly proud to have worked alongside Poppy Gustafsson and the team and to have been a part of the company’s success. We look forward to continuing to support them in what will inevitably be an exciting next phase as a publicly listed company.”

Darktrace’s path to the public markets wasn’t without its own challenges. It was initially plotting a valuation as high as £3bn but reduced its pricing over concerns flagged around its links to Mike Lynch, the embattled businessman who invested in the company through his firm Invoke Capital.

In a statement, Darktrace chief executive Gustafsson acknowledged the role that the investment played in the company’s success.

“We owe much gratitude to the Invoke team for their pivotal role in the vision, technology, positioning and operational input in the early years, without which today’s success would not have been possible,” she said.

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