The hares of security software group Darktrace soared when they debuted on the London Stock Exchange just weeks after the Deliveroo float flop.
The group’s shares were launched this morning at a value of £ 1.7 billion, or 250 pence per share, but within minutes sources said they were trading at 350.4 pence.
This represented a paper saving of 40% for its new investors.
The company is using artificial intelligence developed by its team of mathematicians at Cambridge to look for unusual patterns in companies’ computer systems that indicate a hacking attack.
His float came just weeks after Deliveroo’s disastrous IPO flop, which saw stocks plunge on day one.
Darktrace has lowered its prices for the float from an estimate of £ 3 billion, likely influenced by market concerns over its connection to Dr Mike Lynch, the founder of Autonomy amid charges of state fraud -United. He denies the allegations, but his status as a founding investor in Darktrace and, until recently, an advisor to the company, has reportedly put some investors off.
Today, CEO Poppy Gustafsson didn’t shy away from the Lynch connection.
In her float launch statement, she paid tribute to her team at her investment firm Invoke Capital.
“We owe a great deal of gratitude to the Invoke team for its central role in the vision, technology, positioning and operational input of the early years without which today’s success would not have been possible,” said she declared.
Other investors include venture capitalists Balderton Capital, Talis Capital, Hoxton Ventures, Summit Partners, KKR, TenEleven Ventures, Insight Partners and Vitruvian.
Invoke is not allowed to sell shares for 180 days, while employees are subject to a 360 day block.
Conditional trading will begin today in stocks under the stock code DARK with unconditional trading – in which ordinary retail investors can participate, begins on May 6.
Darktrace has raised £ 143.4million and the selling shareholders will raise £ 21.7million.
It does not appear that the major shareholders have sold any shares, although staff and management have.
Jefferies, Berenberg and KKR Capital Markets are free float advisers, with KKR’s corporate finance arm unusually occupying this position although it is also an investor through its private equity wing.