Cybersecurity firm Avast Software is floating in London in an attempt to raise $1bn to expand the company.

Avast Software will be going head to head with rival firm Sophos, the only other cybersecurity firm listed in the city.

The term “float” refers to the regular shares a company has issued to the public that are available for investors to trade. Avast tried to do so back in 2012 in Nasdaq, but it fell through due to “tough market conditions”.

The Czech Republic based company aims to raise $200m to pay down debt and another $800m for other purposes, such as allowing executives to sell off shares. This totals at about 25% of the company’s equity, valuing the company at a potential $4bn.

If the float is successful, it could be a useful addition to the UK’s tech scene. Avast software sells free and paid-for anti-virus software, and 14 million people use its kits in the UK.

The company employs 1,700 staff, 100 of which are in the UK, and claim that its software prevents two billion cyber attacks a month.

Chief executive Vincent Steckler shared his thoughts on the company: “Over the past 30 years, Avast has grown from a visionary startup to the number one consumer cyber security company with 435 million users worldwide.”

He added: “This transformation of our company has happened because of the dramatic increase in the number and types of threats around the world which are a growing concern to people, and Avast’s ability to stay ahead of the bad guys.”

This float isn’t without its controversy, though. Steckler was involved in a SEC fraud probe back in 1999. The ruling stated that Legato, a Silicon Valley software firm, “recorded millions of dollars in revenue and income from phoney transactions arranged by its senior sales executives” and that Steckler, a key customer, “aided and abetted” these deals.