Darktrace confirms IPO as revenues soar amid pandemic

The AI startup is thought to be aiming for a £3 billion float on the London Stock Exchange

Cambridge AI-startup Darktrace has officially announced plans to float on the London Stock Exchange. 

The confirmation came as the firm revealed that its revenues soared to £145 million during the pandemic, up from around £99.5 million a year earlier. 

Since its inception in 2013, Darktrace has enjoyed steady growth. However, it has become one of the many UK tech firms to cash in on the surge in demand for digital services due to the switch to remote working and has almost doubled its customer base as a result. 

Although Darktrace hasn't provided pricing details for its IPO, it is reportedly seeking a valuation of around £3 billion. The decision to list in London is also "logical", according to the chair of Tech Nation, Stephen Kelly, as Darktrace has strong ties to Cambridge.

"The City's listed tech sector continues to excel, with 145 companies on the market valued at a combined £670bn," Kelly said. "This makes tech the fourth largest sector on the LSE and demonstrates that this is more than just a flash in the pan. 

"AI specifically is a strong area in British technology and with companies like Darktrace, we are increasingly leading the way globally. I'm more excited now than I have ever been about the state of UK technology, with fantastic companies, a thriving ecosystem and a supportive government."

There were eight tech startup IPOs in London last year, with internet firms accounting for around 40% of the London Stock Exchange. Those eight firms also raised twice the amount of capital compared to the 16 tech IPOs in 2018

"Given this backdrop, the IPO boom of Q1 2021 comes as no surprise to the tech sector," Kelly added. "Stock market debuts get headlines on the day but it's important to remember the relentless quarterly treadmill of public company progression and results. 

"The successes of the past decade have shown what the UK is capable of when investment, policy foresight and ambitious talent come together. The next decade promises to be the most innovative yet."

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