VC funding takes Darktrace value up to £60 million

UK cyber-security company Darktrace has been valued at more than US$ 100 million (£64 million), after US venture capitalist Summit Capital invested US$ 22.5 million (£14.5 million) in the business.

The money is expected to allow the British-American company to continue its expansion into the Asia-Pacific region, which Darktrace's Dave Palmer talked up in a recent interview with SCMagazineUK.com, and comes only four months after a previous round of funding of US$ 18 million (£12 million) involving Invoke capital, Talis Capital and Hoxton Ventures.

The firm, which is backed by software entrepreneur Mike Lynch – formerly of Autonomy, specialises in behavioural analytics with software that learns behavioural patterns of each user, device and network within an organisation. When unusual activity is detected, the software will alert sysadmins to it.

The software is based on mathematical research carried out at Cambridge University, and also plants honeypots to trap attackers.

Darktrace's Immune System is used by the likes of Virgin Trains, BT and several other enterprises, while the newer Industrial Immune System was recently launched so to protect those working in critical national infrastructure. One of the more obscure customers for the product was a chocolate making factory, according to Palmer.

The firm has offices in Cambridge and San Francisco, with sales people positioned around the globe. Andrew France, former head of defence at GCHQ and CEO for a time, sits on the board, with Jim Penrose, formerly of NSA, running Darktrace US operations.

Nicole Eagan, chief executive of Darktrace, said: "This is yet another validation of our machine-learning and mathematics approach, and will enable us to maintain a fast pace of innovation, and pursue our vision of bringing the Enterprise Immune System to the heart of cyber-defence strategies today."

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