The 10 Hottest Networking Startups Of 2022
From those specializing in hybrid cloud-based offerings and Networking as a Service to Secure Access Service Edge and private 5G, here are 10 of the hottest networking startups of 2022.
Bring In The New
What a time to be a networking newcomer. Networking startups are making a name for themselves by starting at the edge, harnessing new kinds of connectivity and leading with a hybrid cloud approach. Not to mention they are all about embracing the new ways that businesses are looking to buy IT, including subscription-based services.
Networking startups are bursting onto the scene and giving some of the largest vendors a run for their money. Still, there’s room for even the market incumbents to partner with these startups. Networking and SD-WAN companies such as Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, and Versa Networks are choosing to team with startups because of their fresh takes on private 5G, managed networking offerings and next-generation connectivity options. Meanwhile, some startups are filling holes in the market around consumption-based or managed network offerings, as well as edge networking, next-generation data center networking and Secure Access Service Edge, or SASE. One thing that the incumbents and market newcomers have in common? They recognize the power of the channel and are tapping MSPs and resellers for help getting the word out on the new ways to handle networking requirements.
From those specializing in hybrid cloud-based offerings and Networking as a Service to cellular connectivity and 5G, here 10 of the hottest networking startups of 2022.
- Perimeter 81
- Rockport Networks
CEO: Amir Khan
Headquarters: San Jose, Calif.
Multi-cloud networking startup Alkira emerged from stealth mode in 2020 with its consumption-based Cloud Services Exchange (CSX), a unified, on-demand offering that lets cloud architects and network engineers build and deploy a multi-cloud network in minutes. Since then, the company has unveiled a collaboration with the Microsoft for Startups program, as well as a deeper relationship with Amazon Web Services, whose Marketplace includes Alkira CSX.
Alkira in June launched Cloud Area Networking, a next-generation networking offering. The offering is a full stack, edge-to-cloud enterprise-grade network with built-in routing and network services, according to the company. Alkira is going to market primarily though channel partners, and in 2021 the company inked a partnership with its first master agent, Telarus.
CEO: Steve Mullaney
Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.
Hybrid cloud network startup Aviatrix Systems is making a name for itself by offering visibility into complex, multi-cloud networks for enterprises asking for cloud-native networking offerings that support new ways of accessing applications via what it refers to as Intelligent Cloud Networking.
The company goes to market with partners and is especially seeking out those solution providers that aren’t tied to the on-premises world. Aviatrix has doubled its revenue every year since its start in 2018 and in August said it planned to hit the public market within the next 18 months and reach more than $3 billion in annual revenue in five years.
CEO: Rajeev Shah
Headquarters: Cupertino, Calif.
Enterprise 5G startup Celona was founded in 2019 and in 2020 brought to market its platform that makes LTE and 5G a reliable and viable wireless option for enterprise connectivity. In addition to the platform, the company revealed a strategic partnership with Aruba for the reselling of Celona’s cellular products.
Celona was founded by a team that has been part of companies like Qualcomm and Cisco Systems and has experience building chipsets, cloud-based software, and Wi-Fi and cellular offerings. Celona in June launched a new partner program for resellers, MSPs and systems integrators called the Fanatics channel program, which came on the heels of closing its $60 million Series C funding round in March.
Founder, CEO: Khalid Raza
Headquarters: San Jose, Calif.
Edge networking upstart Graphiant emerged from stealth mode in September, ready to take aim at market incumbents like Cisco and other competing SD-WAN players.
The market newcomer is delivering MPLS-level connectivity between the enterprise WAN, hybrid cloud, network edge, customers and partners. Its offering is delivered as a service through the Graphiant Network Edge. The company told CRN this fall that it’s solving a big networking problem that existing SD-WAN player are not listening to—increasingly distributed workloads and network complexity that is in turn creating more complexity and security issues for businesses.
Graphiant plans on doing all of its business through the channel. The company has raised $33.5 million in Series A funding backed by Sequoia Capital, Two Bear Capital and Atlantic Bridge.
CEO: Bart de Graaff
Headquarters: Frankfurt, Germany
ngena is an SD-WAN -as-a-Service company that is helping to transform networking for the era of cloud. The company in October unveiled a partnership with SD-WAN giant Versa Networks in which the addition of Versa to ngena’s platform will allow customers to choose from leading SD-WAN vendors and design their networks according to their individual needs, according to ngena.
Founded in 2016, ngena has raised a total of $285.7 million in funding with its latest round occurring in 2021 in a Series C funding round led by Friends and Founders Round.
CEO: Pankaj Patel
Headquarters: San Jose, Calif.
Another newcomer that burst onto the scene this year is Nile, a Networking-as-a-Service startup, which exited stealth mode in September.
Nile is the latest brainchild of former Cisco Executive Chairman and CEO John Chambers, alongside co-founder Pankaj Patel, Cisco’s former executive vice president and chief development officer. The startup is entering the market with a “reimagined” wired and wireless service delivered entirely as a service. The offering will give channel partners and their midmarket and enterprise customers network simplicity, security and performance while lowering the total cost of ownership, the company told CRN.
Nile launched with its partner program in tow, Nile Connect. The company has raised about $125 million
through Chambers’ investment firm, JC2 Ventures. Other investors include March Capital, 8VC and Iconiq Capital.
CEO: Amit Bareket
Headquarters: Tel Aviv, Israely
Fast-growing SASE specialist Perimeter 81 was heads-down-focused on cloud-based networking and security, but the company in 2021 entered the SASE arena. Four-year-old Perimeter 81’s offerings can replace legacy and open-source VPN offerings.
The company, which also has offices in New York City and Los Angeles, in 2021 launched a channel partner program for MSPs. In June, Perimeter 81 closed a Series C $100 million funding round led by B Capital at a $1 billion valuation, which reportedly made the company worth about five times more than after its previous funding round in 2020. The company said it has “doubled” its annual recurring revenue.
CEO: Ramesh Prabagaran
Headuarters: Santa Clara, Calif.
Founded in 2019, multi-cloud networking disrupter Prosimo emerged from stealth mode with its Application eXperience Infrastructure (AXI) platform that is modernizing and simplifying application delivery and experience across multi-cloud environments. The Prosimo platform can coexist with existing vendors in a customer’s environment or can be used to replace certain tools and features, such as zero-trust or cloud peering, according to tcompany.
The startup in January launched an official partner program. At the same time, the company scooped up Timoteo Prietto, the former channel leader of one of its biggest competitors, Aviatrix, to head up its channel efforts.
CEO: Phil Harris
Headquarters: Ottawa, Ontario
Data center networking newcomer Rockport Networks emerged from stealth mode in 2021 with its “switchless” network architecture that can provide customers with the performance and scalability necessary for demanding computing workloads, such as high-performance computing technologies, AI and machine learning. Rockport Networks said its switchless offering can deliver an average of 28 percent reduction in workload completion times under load and a 3X decrease in end-to-end latency compared with traditional networks.
The company has raised a total of $66.8 million over five funding rounds, with the latest funding round raised in 2021 led by Northern Private Capital. In June, the company brought on data center industry executive Harris as its new CEO.
Co-Founder, CEO: Joe Gleinser
Headquarters: Austin, Texas
TrustGrid comes to market with a platform that combines SD-WAN, edge computing and zero-trust remote access that lets operators and cloud software providers manage and support distributed application environments from the cloud to the edge. The platform lets users managed and support hundreds of networks on one interface, the company said.
The privately held provider goes to market through channel partners. Five-year-old TrustGrid in September revealed a partnership with Level 3 Audiovisual that combines TrustGrid’s technology with Level 3’s software to deliver and support advanced AV software to customers across corporate America, higher education, health care, government and hospitality, the two companies said.