UPDATED 14:18 EDT / JULY 11 2017

INFRA

AI cybersecurity startup Darktrace raises $75M at $875M valuation

Cyberattacks may be bad for most businesses, but this year they have been great for the cybersecurity industry.

Between the WannaCry ransomware that swept Europe and the more recent Petya attacks, cybersecurity shares have surged this year, and so has cybersecurity funding. The latest startup to benefit from this security boom is Darktrace Ltd., which today announced that it has closed a $75 million Series D funding round.

The round was led by Insight Venture Partners, and it included participation from existing investors Summit Partners, KKR and TenEleven Ventures. Darktrace’s latest round brings the company’s total funding to nearly $180 million and sets its post-money valuation at $875 million.

Founded in 2013 in the U.K., Darktrace offers an Enterprise Immune System, its cybersecurity platform powered by machine learning. According to Darktrace, its platform takes advantage of artificial intelligence to detect and fight new threats in real time. The company said its platform can even spot suspicious patterns early to prevent attacks before they even occur.

According to Darktrace, the Enterprise Immune System now has more than 3,000 deployments worldwide across various industries. The company also said it has managed to double its staff over the last year, and it now has more than 500 employees. It said the new funding proves the potential of its machine learning approach to cybersecurity, and the company said that it will use the financing to continue growing its business.

Darktrace is not the only company looking to apply AI and machine learning to security, nor is it the only one to receive significant funding within the last few months. For example, AI cybersecurity startups CrowdStrike Inc. and Cybereason Inc. each closed funding rounds in the last three months that exceeded $100 million.

The funding announcement indicates that the cybersecurity boom is likely not going to end anytime soon. But as the market becomes more and more crowded with “unique” machine learning platforms, investors may find it harder to decide which are worth backing.

Photo: Visual Content Data Security via photopin (license)

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