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The Darktrace IPO could be just the beginning of public trading for network detection and response companies.

Craig Galbraith

April 30, 2021

2 Min Read
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The latest tech industry initial public offering (IPO) appears to be a rousing success. This time it’s Darktrace, the U.K.-based security startup whose shares were up nearly 40% as the London Stock Exchange approached its closing hour Friday afternoon.

Darktrace is an artificial intelligence (AI) company that specializes in cyber defense. Its portfolio is broad, and includes cloud security, threat visualization, and network detection and response (NDR). The highlight could be its Darktrace Immune System, which the company says identifies “what is truly dangerous or malicious” in real time.

Darktrace sells through various partner types, including VARs, MSSPs, small consulting organizations and other technology partners.

Poppy Gustafsson is the company’s CEO.

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Darktrace’s Poppy Gustafsson

“To our world-class inventors at our R&D centre in Cambridge, today is really about celebrating you,” Gustafsson said. “Not only have you created a fundamental technology that 4,700 organizations now rely on to help them tackle novel and advanced cyber threats, but you remain committed to innovation, pushing the envelope and shaping the world with your ideas. Today is just the beginning.”

NDR IPO ‘Won’t Be the Last’

Though they play in the same space, at least one other NDR provider heralds Darktrace’s success as good for all.

“As with any first IPO in a given market, the Darktrace IPO is a watershed moment for the NDR segment, affirming the market opportunity. They may be the first, but mark my words, they won’t be the last,” said Mike Campfield, VP of EMEA operations, ExtraHop.

It was Gartner that first coined the term “network detection and response” two years ago. Since then, it is the second-fastest growing cybersecurity segment. Research firm IDC puts NDR’s compound annual growth rate at 24% in 2020.

Darktrace wasn’t a shoe-in for success with its IPO. As CNBC notes, just last month, Deliveroo, a technology-based food delivery company, saw its stock price fall 30% on its first trading day. That marked one of the worst IPOs in the history of the London Stock Exchange.

We talked to Darktrace last month about how a majority of security leaders are preparing for AI-powered cyberattacks. That was the major finding of a survey that Forrester Consulting conducted on behalf of the company.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Craig Galbraith or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

Craig Galbraith

Editorial Director, Channel Futures

Craig Galbraith is the editorial director for Channel Futures, joining the team in 2008. Before that, he spent more than 11 years as an anchor, reporter and managing editor in television newsrooms in North Dakota and Washington state. Craig is a proud Husky, having graduated from the University of Washington. He makes his home in the Phoenix area.

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