Darktrace shares surge 43% in London IPO

The Darktrace emblem displayed on a smartphone with inventory market percentages within the background.

Omar Marques | SOPA Pictures | LightRocket by way of Getty Pictures

LONDON — British cybersecurity start-up Darktrace noticed its shares surge as a lot as 43% in its London debut Friday, as traders seemed previous Deliveroo’s lackluster itemizing.

Darktrace priced its shares at 250p Friday morning, valuing the corporate at £1.7 billion ($2.4 billion).

Darktrace shares began buying and selling in conditional dealings below the ticker “DARK” Friday morning. At about 8:15 a.m. London time, Darktrace shares climbed 43% to greater than 358p.

The inventory was final up 41% at a value of 352p.

Darktrace mentioned its providing would comprise round 66 million shares — or about 9.6% of Darktrace’s issued share capital — and lift a complete of £165.1 million. Of that, £143.4 million will go to the corporate, whereas £21.7 million will go to current shareholders. The corporate has mentioned an extra 9.9 million shares can be offered if demand proves larger than anticipated.


It is the second main take a look at of London’s urge for food for high-growth tech corporations. Final month, Amazon-backed meals supply agency Deliveroo flopped in its debut, plunging as much as 30% in one of the worst London IPOs in history.

Post-Brexit Britain is reforming its listings regime to lure firms like these, with a government-commissioned review calling for a relaxing of rules around dual class share structures and special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs.

London has had a busy year of tech IPOs so far, with the likes of Deliveroo, Trustpilot and Moonpig having gone public. Some investors had feared the disappointing performance of Deliveroo — down over 32% from its IPO price — could put other tech firms off from listing in the city.

At a £1.7 billion market cap, Darktrace was pricing its IPO on the conservative end, compared to the valuation of up to $4 billion it had initially hoped to reach.

The company’s listing has been dogged by concerns over its close ties to controversial U.K. tech entrepreneur Mike Lynch, who is battling extradition to the U.S.

Lynch is accused of fraudulently inflating the value of Autonomy, the software company he founded, to Hewlett Packard for almost $11 billion in 2011. Lynch denies any wrongdoing.

Lynch’s Invoke Capital was an early investor in Darktrace. Darktrace’s CEO Poppy Gustafsson and Chief Strategy Officer Nicole Eagan also both used to work at Autonomy. For its part, Darktrace says that Lynch has no direct involvement with the day-to-day running of the company.

Founded in 2013 in Cambridge by a group of former intelligence experts and mathematicians, Darktrace uses artificial intelligence to detect and respond to cyberthreats in a business’ IT systems. It raised a total of $230.5 million from investors prior to its IPO, according to Crunchbase.

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