Poppy Gustafsson founded Darktrace, a UK startup that uses artificial intelligence to address cybersecurity issues, with a team of mathematicians, technology specialists, and former intelligence agents. She is CEO of the company along with Nicole Eagan and was previously the CFO and COO.
“Beforehand, security was about keeping the bad guys off your network by having a big strong wall,” Poppy explained in an interview with the London Evening Standard. “[But] our founders believed that at some point the cyber breach was inevitable so we need to think about identifying the attack in the early stages and stopping it.”
The company has developed the Enterprise Immune System, which detects and prevents emerging cyber attacks in real time. It is the most highly developed machine learning system against cyber defense in the world.
With a valuation of $1.65 billion, Darktrace is one of the UK’s top tech startups and a world leader in cyber AI technologies. The company works with top corporations such as eBay, BNP, BT, T-Mobile, and Paribas. In 2018, Fast Company deemed Darktrace to be one of the world’s most innovative companies.
Poppy holds a bachelor’s in mathematics from the University of Sheffield. Prior to founding Darktrace, she worked at HP, Deloitte, and Amadeus Capital Partners.