Thursday 22 February 2018

Technology entrepreneur Lynch has a gamble on spy hacking company

Mike Lynch
Mike Lynch
Nick Webb

Nick Webb

MIKE Lynch, the entrepreneur who built his Autonomy Group into one of europe's most successful technology companies, has made a $20m (€15m) bet on an anti-hacking firm.

Tipperary-born Lynch, who sold Autonomy Group to HP for $11bn, subsequently set up $1bn investment firm Invoke Capital to buy stakes in cutting-edge technology firms.

The investment in UK cyber security group Darktrace is the fund's first investment. It is targeting spending between $10m and $20m on each of its punts.

Lynch and some of his former executives from Autonomy have put $100m of their own money into the fund.

Darktrace's technology works by luring hackers into certain parts of a company's network where it is able to track them down. It creates so-called honey-pot files to act as bait for hackers before unmasking them.

The spy theme is continued throughout the company, as Jonathan Evans, a former MI5 director-general, is a board member of Darktrace.

The sale of Autonomy in 2010 was the biggest-ever buyout of a European technology firm. However, the deal went sour, with HP accusing Lynch of misrepresenting Autonomy's finances. It wrote down the value of the firm by $8.8bn.

Lynch has denied these claims and said HP mishandled the deal.

Sunday Independent

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