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Mike Lynch’s Darktrace boosts value to $100m

Spooks' favourite cybersecurity firm will push further into Asia.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Tech entrepreneur Mike Lynch’s cybersecurity firm Darktrace raised its value to $100m (£64m) in the latest funding round that netted the firm some $22.5m.

The money from the US venture capitalists Summit Partners will allow the British-American company to continue its expansion into the Asia-Pacific region, the company already having a foothold in the European and North American markets.

Staffed by former spies from both the UK and the US, the company is one of many in the sector pioneering behavioural analytics through the use of machine learning, and is run out of offices in Cambridge in the UK and San Francisco in the US.

Antony Clavel, a VP with Summit Partners, said: "Darktrace is reinventing the way organisations protect their data and assets, with a truly differentiated solution developed by some of the leading minds in machine learning and mathematics.

"Darktrace’s core Enterprise Immune System technology responds to an urgent need for more advanced cyber security, given the volume and complexity of today’s cyber threats."

This latest funding round follows a similar one in March that added $18m to the firm’s war chest and boosted its value to $80m.

It also comes after the firm’s decision to move its analytics technology into industrial security, particularly covering industrial control systems and supervisory control and data acquisition (Scada) tools.

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Hailing the recent funding, 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."

Such developments coincide with an ongoing dispute between Lynch, who set up Darktrace, and his former employer HP, the two being embroiled in a lawsuit over the accounting practices at the software company Autonomy.

Earlier this year HP took out a $5bn case against Lynch and one of his former executives over alleged mismanagement of Autonomy, which HP had bought for some $11bn and later had to write down.

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