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A.I.-driven cybersecurity firm Darktrace rises nearly 40% in London debut

April 30, 2021, 9:24 AM UTC

Darktrace PLC, the buzzy U.K.-based cybersecurity tech firm that uses artificial intelligence to combat cyberthreats, lived up to its hype on Friday as shares shot higher on the first day of trading on the London Stock Exchange.

The stock soared nearly 40% from its IPO price of ₤2.50.

The listing adds to the flurry of IPOs in London this year and helps allay concerns that the city may be losing some of its allure after the disappointment brought on by the lackluster debut of meal delivery firm Deliveroo, which slumped about 30% when it floated at the end of March. What a difference a month makes.

The Darktrace IPO at ₤2.50 values the company at ₤1.7 billion, a lot lower than early speculation about a figure closer to ₤5.0 billion.

The float is small, at only around 9.6 % of the company.

“Our company is deeply rooted in the U.K.’s tradition of scientific and mathematic research so we are especially proud to be listing on the London Stock Exchange,” CEO Poppy Gustafsson said in a regulatory statement.

Celebrating the listing, Gustafsson paid tribute to her R&D center in Cambridge: “Not only have you created a fundamental technology that 4,700 organizations now rely on to help them tackle novel and advanced cyberthreats, but you remain committed to innovation, pushing the envelope and shaping the world with your ideas. Today is just the beginning.”

U.S. investment bank Jefferies is the sole sponsor of the IPO as well as joint global coordinator and joint bookrunners.

Darktrace also said it has been named one of Time magazine’s Most Influential Companies of the year.

“Darktrace AI identified and investigated a nation-state attack last year, two weeks before it was publicly attributed to the Chinese cyber-espionage group APT41,” it added.

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