Darktrace Plans to Boost Workforce 25%; Considers Raising Funds

(Bloomberg) -- The chief executive officer of British cybersecurity startup Darktrace Ltd. said the company plans to increase its workforce by about 25 percent this year, and will consider raising additional funding to help it do so.

Nicole Eagan said her company expects to have about 1,000 employees by the end of the year, up from about 750 today.

At a Bloomberg-sponsored event in London Tuesday, Eagan said that while “there’s always more funding needed,” fresh capital wasn’t something the company was presently pursuing. In a separate interview on Bloomberg Television, she said there were no plans to enter the public markets with an IPO.

Headcount at the Cambridge, England-based company has increased by about 100 since Bloomberg reported in May that the business was valued at $1.25 billion after two of its earliest investors sold shares in a secondary sale.

According to accounts for the year ended June 30, 2017 -- the latest available from British business registry Companies House -- Darktrace had an operating loss of 24.4 million pounds ($32.1 million), up from 9.6 million pounds a year earlier. It attributed this to the increase in headcount within R&D and sales teams. Revenue increased to 30.8 million pounds from 17.1 million, however, during the same period.

“We’ve seen phenomenal growth and quite frankly we’re just trying to keep up with the demand at the moment,” Eagan said at Bloomberg’s Inventing the Future event.

Darktrace was founded in 2013 by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge and veterans of the U.K. and U.S. intelligence agencies. The company uses machine-learning technology to detect unusual activity on its clients’ networks that could indicate the presence of a hacker.

Darktrace competes with several other cybersecurity companies, including U.S.-based Vectra Networks Inc. and Palo Alto Networks, which produce machine learning-based threat-detection software.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.