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Mike Lynch's cybersec biz Darktrace hoovers up $65m in VC dosh

Spook-founded firm slurps more funding

Darktrace, the machine-learning cybersec outfit backed by one-time Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch, has pulled in another $65m in VC funding.

Lynch previously founded enterprise search firm Autonomy, which was sold to HP and ultimately cost that company $8.8bn in impairment and other charges. This led Patrick White, the head of start-up Synata, to declare the Autonomy deal had “poisoned the well” for enterprise search outfits to grab some VC cash.

Lynch’s previous efforts to buy a 180-foot super yacht were unsuccessful. The vessel, which would have cost north of $30m, would have come from the $500m he trousered when Autonomy was sold to HP for $10.24bn back in 2011.

After this affair (we say after, as Lynch is still embroiled in a court case with HP and seeking over $150m in damages) the great man bought into Darktrace, which bills itself as providing behavioural threat analytics to detect early-stage cyber threats.

The Cambridge-based business was founded by former members of the intelligence agencies, and counts former GCHQ deputy head of cyber defence Andrew France and ex-MI5 director general Sir Jonathan Evans as board members.

It has now received more funding from KKR, which has also just bought business software company Epicor from Apax Partners for about $3.3bn, according (£) to the Wall Street Journal. KKR led the charge in a round that thrust $65m into Darktrace, alongside Summit Partners and Lynch’s own VC firm Invoke Capital.

Darktrace picked up $18m from investors including Invoke Capital last March, before another begging round in July when the business slurped another $22.5m from investment firm Summit Partners. ®

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