UK cybersecurity company Darktrace eyes £3bn IPO

Cambridge-based cybersecurity company Darktrace is reportedly ready to announce its initial public offering (IPO) next week at a valuation of around £3 billion.

The firm, founded in 2013, uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to detect and respond to potential cyberthreats.

Darktrace employs over 1,200 workers internationally across 44 offices and boasts clients including Penguin Random House, BT, and Ocado.

Sources told Sky News that Darktrace’s board, led by new chairman ex-Capita Gordon Hurst, believe shares will begin trading around the end of this month.

The IPO is likely to involve the sale of around £250 million of new and existing shares in the cybersecurity vendor.

The news comes after Deliveroo experienced the worst performance for an IPO in London Stock Exchange (LSE) history, dropping 26 per cent below its initial listing price in its first day, wiping almost £2 billion off the food delivery companies initial market capitalisation.

The steep decline brought hefty losses for investors, including Amazon who own over 10 per cent of the company, T Rowe Price, Fidelity, and the venture capital funds Index and Accel.

US-based merchant bank Goldman Sachs is reported to have declined a role in Darktrace’s IPO in 2020 due to fraud allegations surrounding Invoke Capital, the company’s largest shareholder.

The LSE remains a popular destination for technology IPOs, 8 of the UK’s tech companies listed on the LSE in 2020, raising a total of £3.1 billion, almost double compared with 2018 according to a report by TechNation.

In 2020, tech and consumer internet firms raised £7 billion in follow-on capital via LSE listings, 40 per cent of all capital raised according to the report.

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