The heads of cyber security company Darktrace are betting on a float profit of GBP 3 billion: Tech start-ups are pouring into the market weeks after the Deliveroo debacle
Darktrace announced plans for a blockbuster float in London just weeks after Deliveroo’s botched debut.
The Cambridge-based cyber security firm has not yet rated its shares, but it could be worth up to £ 3 billion – which puts the bosses in line for tens of millions of pounds.
The decision is seen as a vote of confidence in the Square Mile after fears the food delivery app’s disastrous float would hold back other tech firms from following suit.
Darktrace boss Poppy Gustafsson (pictured) said the company is not like Deliveroo and has followed in the footsteps of mathematicians Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace and Alan Turing
Darktrace boss Poppy Gustafsson said yesterday that the two companies are not the same and that their company followed in the footsteps of British mathematicians Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace and Alan Turing.
The Cambridge-based company, backed by Autonomy tycoon Mike Lynch, has developed world-leading software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to defend against cyber security attacks.
Atom Bank to think about Spac
Atom Bank also announced that it is considering getting a listing on a so-called blank check vehicle on a hectic day for the tech sector.
Mark Mullen, head of the digital bank, said the option to float through a special-purpose acquisition company (Spac) was “interesting and fascinating”.
Spacs have become a popular way of listing for tech companies as they allow companies to bypass the traditional float process.
The online used car platform Cazoo, in which the Daily Mail and the General Trust are involved, recently unveiled plans to hover over a spac in New York.
At £ 3 billion worth, 38-year-old Gustafsson makes nearly £ 20 million, while co-founders Dave Palmer, Emily Orton, Jack Stockdale and Nicole Eagan could make an additional £ 120 million.
Former British and American intelligence veterans and mathematicians from Cambridge founded Darktrace in 2013.
Lynch, who is fighting extradition to the US on fraud charges, which he denies, also owns roughly 19 percent of the shares and could make nearly £ 600 million.
The tech tycoon was Darktrace’s first major investor, and the company’s top figures are veterans of Autonomy and its mutual fund Invoke Capital – although Lynch stopped doing the business after his legal troubles began.
Darktrace warned yesterday that if Lynch loses legal proceedings and is forced to sell its holdings, its stock price could be undermined.
Darktrace’s top advisors include former MI5 director Lord Evans, former CIA top veteran Alan Wade, and former Home Secretary Amber Rudd.
Gustafsson said the decision to move forward with an IPO was “an important milestone in Darktrace’s history and a historic day for Britain’s thriving tech sector”.
She added: “The success of Darktrace is testament to the strength of the UK’s leading global scientific base and long history of mathematical and computer inventions, from Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace to Alan Turing. We are proud to be part of this tradition of British innovation. ‘
Gustafsson also insisted she has no listing concerns despite Deliveroo’s recent flop.
When the food company launched in London two weeks ago, it was shunned by large institutional funds as concerns about labor practices and stocks collapsed 27 percent on the first day.
But Gustafsson, who has been managing director since 2016, said the fiasco didn’t worry her.
‘We have created a fundamental technology where we have artificial intelligence in a company and actively protect that company from threats.
‘Deliveroo is a technology-based service. When I talk to investors, they love that this business is sustainable. ‘
The company has grown to around 1,500 employees and has 4,700 customers, including Rolls-Royce and Coca-Cola. Last year it had revenues of £ 145m and adjusted profits of £ 6.5m.
Great enthusiasm for annuities app
Pensionbee was valued at up to £ 384million yesterday as it approached a London float.
The savings app, with which people can manage their pensions from a smartphone, is said to have a price of 175 pence.
That implies a market cap of £ 384million – which means boss Romina Savova could get a profit of £ 140million.
Pensionbee will raise £ 55 million through the sale of 35.5 million new shares, with the money being used to fund expansion plans.
Small investors are applying and more than 12,000 Pensionbee customers have so far registered an interest.
Pensionbee was founded in 2014 by Savova (35) and Jonathan Parsons (38), the company’s chief technology officer.
With the app, customers can combine their existing pension funds into one plan.
Both executives receive salaries worth £ 175,000 per year. You can also receive long-term rewards up to £ 218,750, annual rewards up to £ 175,000 and pension contributions up to £ 8,750, making their maximum annual packages up to £ 577,500 depending on performance.