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Darktrace Begins Preparations as Public Company, Nears CFO Hire

Amy Thomson

(Bloomberg) -- Darktrace Ltd. is close to naming a chief financial officer as the U.K. cybersecurity unicorn sets itself up to be run like a public company.

The firm hasn’t made a decision about whether to hold an initial public offering, co-chief executive officer Poppy Gustafsson said in an interview, but added that it doesn’t need any more funds to keep expanding.

It raised $50 million for investments last year in a funding round that valued it at $1.65 billion, added about 400 employees in the the past year, and expects to keep growing at a similar rate, Gustafsson said.

Darktrace was founded in 2013 by veterans of U.S. and British intelligence agencies and mathematicians from the University of Cambridge. Its technology learns how organizations work and employees communicate to detect irregularities and wall-off cyber attacks to prevent them from spreading.

The company’s also investing in technology to make it easier to keep track of potential threats and breaches, creating dashboards that help employees in charge of an organization’s security to reduce their response time and link disparate events, Gustafsson said.

The executive is among a number of former Autonomy employees at Darktrace, which received early funding from Autonomy founder Mike Lynch’s investment firm, Invoke Capital. She shares the CEO role with Nicole Eagan in San Francisco, an alum of Autonomy’s marketing department. Lynch is on the company’s advisory board.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in London at athomson6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at gturner35@bloomberg.net, Nate Lanxon

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.