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The move by Darktrace to go public in London is coming after the unimpressive market debut by Amazon-backed food delivery company Deliveroo.
Darktrace Plc, a Cambridge-based cybersecurity firm, on Monday, announced plans to go public on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), through an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Per the official release, the company is considering applying for the admission of its shares to the premium segment of the Official List of the FCA and to trading on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange.
Darktrace prides itself as the first Artificial Intelligence-driven deployer of cybersecurity systems at a global level with clients numbering up to 4,700. Per the proposed LSE IPO, the company said it plans to sell 20% of issued share capital, with an option to present an additional 15% of shares to the market. The offerings will give Darktrace a valuation of £3bn while placing the company’s Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Poppy Gustafsson’s stake at £20m, according to Sky News.
“Our intention to list on the London Stock Exchange marks a major milestone in Darktrace’s history of rapid growth and a historic day for the UK’s thriving technology sector… Developed by our talented software engineering teams in Cambridge, our artificial intelligence was the first on the market to be deployed at scale in the enterprise, and today is responsible for protecting over 4,700 organizations worldwide from the most sophisticated cyber-threats,” Gustafsson said in a statement.
The move by Darktrace to go public in London is coming after the unimpressive market debut by Amazon-backed food delivery company Deliveroo Holdings Plc (LON: ROO). The shares of the latter firm plunged by 30% on its first trading day, presenting it as one of the worst IPOs for any big company in London. Irrespective of this outlook, Darktrace is undeterred in its efforts to push forth its proposed listing plans.
Darktrace IPO: Financials and Lynch-Link
Per its financials, the company reported revenue of $199.1 million for the fiscal year ended June. 30, 2020, up 45% from $137 million in the year-ago period. Darktrace’s adjusted earnings moved from a $27 million loss in 2018 to a $9 million profit in the 2020 financial year. The profitability recorded in this period was backed by the restrictions in cross-border travels as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
It was reported that Swiss multinational investment bank and financial services company UBS Group AG (SWX: UBSG) refused to back the IPO plans citing the company’s links with Mike Lynch, whose venture fund, Invoke Capital owns a 40% stake in Darktrace. Lynch is battling extradition to the US to face trial over fraudulent inflation of the value of Autonomy, a software firm he established and sold to Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (NYSE: HPE) for $11 billion in 2011. While Lynch has denied the allegations, he may bag 25 years jail term if found guilty.
In proceeding with the IPO plans, Jefferies Financial Group Inc (NYSE: JEF), Berenberg, and KKR Capital Markets will be leading the IPO while Needham & Company and Piper Sandler Companies (NYSE: PIPR) have been tagged to serve as joint book-runners.