AI and cyber security firm Darktrace has raised $50 million in funding at a valuation of $1.65 billion.

The investment is led by European private equity firm Vitruvian Partners with participation from existing investors KKR and 1011 Ventures.

Darktrace uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to automatically detect cyber threats to its customers’ networks. The Cambrige-headquartered business claims that its Antigena product can respond automatically to cybersecurity issues within two seconds.

Its roster of customers includes eight major international airports including London Gatwick.

"Darktrace continues to enjoy strong growth in new and existing geographies, and is now the most widely used Enterprise AI on the market," said chief executive Nicole Eagan.

"The increase in our valuation in just a few months is testament to the fundamental power of our Enterprise Immune System.

"As we begin to see real-world attacks leveraging offensive AI, Darktrace will be indispensable in keeping defenders one step ahead."

Darktrace has grown its employee headcount by 60 per cent in the last 12 months, now standing at over 750 employees worldwide, after opening eight new offices including locations in Los Angeles, Mexico City and São Paulo, as well as tripling the size of its Asian headquarters in Singapore and expanding its R&D center in Cambridge. 

This latest round of funding will drive further international expansion and development.

Sophie Bower-Straziota, managing director at Vitruvian, added: "Darktrace has built a unique combination of world-class AI capabilities, deep cyber domain expertise, and a highly effective business model. This has rapidly created scale and a leading edge over all competitors.

" Most excitingly, the sophistication and quality of Darktrace’s AI is evidenced by the rapid success of its autonomous response system, Antigena, the first of its kind in the market. We are delighted to be leading this financing round, as Darktrace represents exactly the type of highly innovative company Vitruvian seeks to invest behind and support."

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