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5 things to know about cybersecurity startup Darktrace whose IPO climbed 43% on launch day

The British cybersecurity startup Darktrace confirmed its intent to float an IPO back in mid-April. It made its debut on the London stock market on the morning of 30th April, with an IPO issue price of 250p, which valued the company at £1.7 billion. However, soon after the listing, the share price went up by a notable 43 percent. The new startup shows high promise and here are five things you should know about it. 

Self learning cybersecurity

Darktrace’s services use machine learning and AI algorithms to counter cyber threats across diverse digital technologies, including the cloud and networks, IoT and industrial control systems. The company employs self-learning technology that is touted to require minimal set-up and can swiftly identify threats. It claims to be the world’s leading autonomous cyber defense platform that enables real time response to cyber threats. 

Debut day rise

Darktrace is listed on the London stock exchange under the name “DARK.” On April 30, the company’s shares were made available at an issue price of 250p. However, at around 8:15 AM London time, its shares climbed to more than 358p. By the time the market closed, its stock was up by 41%, at a price of 352p. 

This notable spike in the company’s share prices on launch day signals London’s appetite for high-growth tech companies. 

More shares soon?

Currently, Darktrace’s offering comprises about 66 million shares, which is around 9.6% of the company’s issued share capital. It intended to raise a total of £165.1 million of which £143.4 million goes to the company, while £21.7 million will be set aside for existing shareholders. Additionally, if the demand arises, the company could sell 9.9 million more of its shares.

A controversy 

While Darktrace did well for its IPO, the company’s listing was under heavy scrutiny due to its close ties with the controversial U.K. tech entrepreneur Mike Lynch, who is battling extradition to the U.S. As per reports, Lynch is accused of fraudulently inflating the value of his software company Autonomy to Hewlett Packard, for almost £7.96 billion, in 2011. Lynch denies these allegations. 

Darktrace and Invoke Capital

As mentioned above, Lynch is currently mired with controversies. His investment firm Invoke Capital was an early investor in Darktrace, while the latter’s CEO Poppy Gustafsson and Chief Strategy Officer Nicole Eagan used to work at Autonomy. However, Darktrace states Lynch has no direct involvement with the day-to-day running of the startup.