AI Security Company Darktrace Raises $75 Million

Darktrace has raised $75 million in a Series D round of funding, the Cambridge, U.K.-based startup with offices in San Francisco, announced on July 10. Insight Venture Partners led the investment round with additional backing provided by KKR, Summit Partners and TenEleven Ventures.

Nicole Eagan, CEO at Darktrace, said in that Insight Venture Partners’ participation in the investment “is another strong validation of the fundamental and differentiated technology that the Enterprise Immune System represents,” in a statement. “It marks another critical milestone for the company as we experience unprecedented growth in the U.S. market and are rapidly expanding across Latin America and Asia Pacific in particular, as organizations are increasingly turning to our AI approach to enhance their resilience to cyber-attackers.”

Indeed, Darktrace is one of a growing number of cybersecurity companies that are using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to combat a IT security threats.

The firm’s Enterprise Immune System employs machine learning algorithms to root out suspicious behaviors that are indicative of an attack on an organization’s network in real-time. The system determines what constitutes normal behavior from an organization’s users and networked devices and then uses that intelligence to unmask potential security threats.

In addition to traditional methods of infecting corporate networks, the platform can also unmask insider threats and zero-day attacks, the company claims. For example, during the recent WannaCry ransomware outbreak, Darktrace’s technology was able not only to detect the threat, but also contain it.

“Unlike more common forms of malware, which rely on human-mediated methods such as phishing to co-opt people into triggering the payload, this type of attack uses a worm to move from machine to machine without human intervention,” Andrew Tsonchev, director of Cyber Analysis at Darktrace, wrote in a blog post. “Fortunately, it is precisely this – a dramatic change in internal activity – which has allowed us to effectively fight back.”

Businesses seem to be getting the message.

Darktrace reported that its contract value has now reached $200 million along with a threefold increase in bookings in the U.S. Its headcount has doubled in the past 12 months to 500 employees and deployments of its Enterprise Immune System now numbers above 3,000.

The company has also gathered more than 450 partners, but perhaps most importantly, its AI-enabled IT security platform has detected over 48,000 serious incidents.

Darktrace joins other AI security companies in attracting VC funds in recent month.

In May, Attivo Networks raised $15 million for its AI-based threat detection technology. Last month, Jask announced it had raised $12 million for an AI-assisted security analytics and threat intelligence platform that clues businesses into potential risks to their networks and valuable data.

Pedro Hernandez
Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eSecurity Planet, eWEEK, and the IT Business Edge Network. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of IT-related websites and as the Green IT curator for GigaOM Pro.

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