SASE Specialist Cato Networks Raises Record $238M Funding Round
“They’re doubling down on the strategy that’s working for them that’s making them be recognized as unique in the marketplace …They’re clearly onto something good,” one Cato partner told CRN about the standalone cloud networking company’s latest funding round.
Cloud networking specialist Cato Networks has raised $238 million in equity investment. The company plans to put part of the financing toward expanding the partner ecosystem offering managed Cato SASE services, Cato revealed on Tuesday.
Tel Aviv, Israel-based Cato Networks has spent the last several years building out its leading single-vendor secure access service edge (SASE) platform. The Series F funding round bringing the company’s total funding to $773 million.
The largest financing round to date was led by LightSpeed Venture Partners with the participation of Adams Street Partners, SoftbankVision Fund 2, Sixty Degree Capital, and Singtel Innov8.
“The number one differentiator outside of their technology being unique and very specific, is, and this is a huge point for me, is they differentiate because they’re an awesome channel partner,” said Mike Strohl, CEO of e360, a Concord, Calif.-based solution provider and Cato partner.
The vendor, Strohl said, understands the value that the channel brings and unlike some competing companies in the networking and security arena who are becoming increasingly difficult to work with, or those that don’t understand the channel, he said.
That Cato keeps raising record funding is an indicator of the market opportunity around SASE and validation of their approach to the market, Strohl said.
“The fact that they continue to do this and not getting arrogant as it relates the channel, [and are not saying] ‘We don’t need channels, look at all the money people are throwing at us.’ They’re doubling down on the strategy that’s working for them that’s making them be recognized as unique in the marketplace,” he said. “They’re clearly onto something good.”
Cato Networks is continuing its legacy of being a channel-first company, Frank Rauch, Cato’s global channel chief, told CRN in an email regarding the new funding.
“Our partners will benefit greatly as we further invest in their ability to successfully sell and deliver Cato-managed SASE services. Cato’s commitment to the channel remains strong as we see tremendous opportunities for partners worldwide to increase customer value,” he said.
In addition to building out its partner ecosystem, the funding will go toward extending Cato’s technology to a broader audience and growing the engineering and product innovation team, the company said.
Cato’s last funding round was in 2021 when the company raised $200 million in Series E funding that brought its total financing to $532 million at the time.
The company said that following the most recent funding round, Ravi Mhatre, founder and managing director of LightSpeed Venture Partners, will join the Cato board.