International law firm Bird & Bird advised long term client Darktrace, a machine-learning cybersecurity company, on its $75 million Series D fundraise led by Insight Venture Partners, with existing investors Summit Partners, KKR and TenEleven Ventures also participating. The deal gives the Cambridge-based company a post-money valuation of $825 million, edging it ever closer towards entry to the 2017 unicorn club.
Darktrace, one of the leading machine learning firms for cyber security, is tackling the challenge of defending against ever more sophisticated cyberattacks. Powered by machine learning and AI algorithms, Darktrace’s Enterprise Immune System technology is capable of detecting and responding to cyber-threats that evade legacy security controls, containing incidents before damage is done.
The deal is by far the largest cybersecurity venture capital (VC) deal in Europe so far this year and the largest VC financing in the European cybersecurity space of the past six years, surpassing the £50.3 million round that Darktrace raised last July (when the business was valued at £237 million), on which the Bird & Bird team also advised.
The Bird & Bird team was led by Corporate Partners Richard Eaton (Client Partner) and Shing Lo, who were assisted by Associate Hannah Fletcher, Associate Will Porter.
Andy Kanter, Director at Darktrace said: "This latest investment round by Insight Venture Partners is another strong validation of Darktrace's leading technology. It is a pleasure to be working with Richard and Shing and their impressive team again. They were extremely professional and responsive. The Bird & Bird team's great support and ability to juggle multiple stakeholders helped us close this investment quickly and smoothly."
Richard Eaton, Partner in the International Corporate Group at Bird & Bird commented: "With an increasing awareness of cybercrime, it is great to be working with the cutting edge team at Darktrace again. This transaction further underlines Bird & Bird's reputation as a leader in the cybersecurity space".
Shing Lo, Partner in the International Corporate Group at Bird & Bird added: "This deal is another example of our Tier One rated VC practice's track record of working with some of the world's most disruptive technology companies. Whilst the Darktrace transaction is at the upper end of what we see in terms of money raised, we consistently act across all deal sizes for leading players in the technology industry."
Simon Shooter, Head of our cybersecurity initiative at Bird & Bird added: "With the publicity surrounding the recent Wannacry and NotPetya global cyberattacks the relevance of cybersecurity and resilience could not be higher. The explosion of cyber risk has spawned a new industry of businesses focused on addressing that risk and the corporate team's work with Darktrace, which has a market leading reputation, is a great public demonstration of how we cover the whole spectrum of legal work associated with cyber risk, from advising on cyber resilience programmes and dealing with the aftermath of cyber incidents to supporting cyber consultancies in their financing."