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Darktrace nears Unicorn status with AI cybersecurity firm raising $75m

Funding round takes the company’s post-money valuation to $825 million.

By Ellie Burns

One of the UK’s fastest growing startups is edging ever nearer to the much coveted Unicorn status, with a successful Series D financing round securing Darktrace a further $75m in funding.

The funding round was led by Insight Venture Prtners, with existing investors Summit Partners, KKR and TenEleven Ventures also participating in the Series D.

The total raised takes the company’s post-money valuation to $825m and is further proof that there seems to be no stopping the cybersecurity start-up. Indeed, Darktrace recently hit upon another major milestone, announcing that it had climbed new commercial highs as its total contract value hit $200 million – a huge increase of 140% from last year. Much of this growth was driven by outstanding performance in the US, where bookings increased threefold.

Darktrace is fast coming a leader in disruptive AI technolgy for cybersecurity, with the startup boldly stating that they are in fact recognised as “the de facto leader”.

The numbers, however, seem to back up such bold claims – the company’s Enterprise Immune System technology, which is powered by machine learning and AI and detects and responds to cyber threats, now has over 3,000 deployments worldwide. Darktrace

The deployments stretch across all industry sectors, including global financial companies, telecommunications providers, media firms, retailers, healthcare providers, government agencies and critical national infrastructure facilities. In addition to this, the company’s headcount has also doubled over the past 12 months, now standing at 500 employees.

Nicole Eagan, CEO at Darktrace, said: “Insight Venture Partners has a proven record of partnering with tech-focused firms, and its backing of Darktrace is another strong validation of the fundamental and differentiated technology that the Enterprise Immune System represents. It marks another critical milestone for the company as we experience unprecedented growth in the U.S. market and are rapidly expanding across Latin America and Asia Pacific in particular, as organizations are increasingly turning to our AI approach to enhance their resilience to cyber-attackers.”

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Darktrace was founded in 2013 by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge. The firm’s flagship product, the Enterprise Immune System, uses AI algorithms to automatically detect and take action against cyber-threats within all types of networks, including physical, cloud and virtualized networks, as well as IoT and industrial control systems.

READ MORE: Putting AI into action – A practical guide to move beyond the hype

A self-configuring platform, Darktrace requires no prior set-up, identifying advanced threats in real time, including zero-days, insiders and stealthy, silent attackers.

Jeff Horing, Managing Director at Insight Venture Partners said, “In just four years, Darktrace has established itself as a world leader in AI-powered security. Insight is proud to partner with Darktrace to continue to drive its strong growth and superior product market fit.”

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