Cybersecurity unicorn Darktrace has confirmed it will list on the London Stock Exchange at the end of April in a float expected to value the UK company between £2.5bn and £3bn.
Founded in 2013, the Cambridge-headquartered firm provides artificial intelligence software for detecting and responding to cyber threats against the enterprise.
The Darktrace IPO will be the first major London listing after the lacklustre float of food delivery firm Deliveroo, which first sought a valuation as high as £8.8bn. As of Monday, its market cap stood at £4.63bn.
Darktrace will opt for a more traditional listing, as opposed to the dual-class structure that gave Deliveroo founder and CEO Will Shu a stronger say in the company’s future and may have put off investors.
The structure is still expected to lead to a share payout in the region of £20m for Darktrace CEO Poppy Gustafsson. Bloomberg and Sky News each reported an upper valuation of approximately £3bn for Darktrace, citing people close to the matter.
“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,” Gustafsson said in a statement. “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.”
The listing comes at a high-growth period for Darktrace, which reported compound annual revenue growth of 58.3% between the 2018 and 2020 fiscal years.
In the 12 months ended June 2020 its revenue stood at $199.1m. During the same period it lost $28.7m. Gustafsson told Bloomberg that Darktrace may become profitable “in the short term” but for now it is pursuing growth as its chief priority. The company has narrowed its losses for the past three consecutive years.
According to GlobalData’s intelligence centre Darktrace has raised $330.5m in venture financing and private equity since 2015.
Darktrace estimates the total addressable market for AI-powered cybersecurity tools is worth approximately $40bn.
The company draws 99.5% of its revenue from subscriptions for its security tools, which can be deployed on a company’s cloud network or across on-premises architecture.
It has more than 4,700 customers worldwide, which include the likes of BT, AIG and William Hill.
The company, which also has a dual headquarters in San Francisco, employs 1,500 people across 44 offices globally. It plans on using the proceeds of the IPO to increase staff count and pursue growth into new sectors and geographies.
Darktrace has made changes to its leadership teams ahead of the IPO. In recent weeks it has appointed former science minister Lord Willetts and former BT Group chief Sir Peter Bonfield to its board.
It follows question marks about Darktrace’s relationship with Autonomy founder Mike Lynch, who is currently battling extradition to the US in a high-profile case with HP.
Lynch became the first shareholder in Darktrace via his investment company Invoke Capital. He stepped down from the Darktrace board in 2018.