Versa Networks Raises $120M In Pre-IPO Funding To Intensify SASE Development, Go-To-Market
The latest funding round will go toward the further development and go-to-market of Versa’s single-vendor SASE platform, as opposed to a ‘portfolio’ approach that incumbents in the industry are offering today, the company’s leaders tell CRN.
SD-WAN-turned-SASE specialist Versa Networks said Thursday that it has raised $120 million ahead of its planned IPO.
The latest funding will further the 100 percent channel-focused company’s go-to-market strategies and accelerate its Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) product development road map to cement its leadership position in the SASE market, Kelly Ahuja, CEO of Versa Networks, told CRN.
“What most people don’t realize is that Versa has always talked about security and network coming together ever since we were founded. We find ourselves in a very good position because what we’ve been saying is exactly how the market is evolving,” Ahuja said.
The pre-IPO round was led by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock. Silicon Valley Bank also participated in the funding, according to the Santa Clara, California-based company.
The funding round, announced on Thursday, brings the company’s total raised to $316 million, executives told CRN.
Research firm Gartner said the SASE market is expected to grow to $15 billion in 2025 and that by 2025, 50 percent of new SD-WAN purchases will be part of a single-vendor SASE offering.
Versa Networks, which has avoided acquisition and comes to the market with its unique take that involves combining SD-WAN with other branch networking functions, including routing and security, was once again listed as a Leader on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for SD-WAN published in September.
Versa Networks’ single-vendor SASE platform stand out from the competition because of the company’s single-platform approach, rather than a “portfolio” approach that many of the market’s incumbents have taken, Ahuja said.
“The key focus, as you can imagine, is cybersecurity and especially over the last few years the move to cloud[has] accelerated. What’s front and center for [businesses] is the complexity and the bespoke architecture that they have for this new age of workloads and applications in any cloud and a hybrid workforce. So, they’re looking to move aggressively into SASE, which includes both network and security converged into a single platform,” Ahuja said.
Kumar Mehta, co-founder and chief development officer of Versa Networks, started the company with security and SD-WAN in mind, so the road map has always included the tight integration between security and networking elements.
“Our single-vendor SASE platform lets us secure and connect both applications and devices, anywhere, anytime. But what’s really important is it gives you consistent security and network policy for a consistent user experience,” Mehta said. “In the end, what results is an improved security posture.”
The funding will also help Versa Networks expand its partner coverage through its partner ecosystem, which involves resellers, MSPs, agents and systems integrators. “We’re getting a lot of inbounds from new partners because they’re seeing the progress and traction we’re making,” Ahuja said. “They’re actually approaching us to see what more they can do with us.”
The company told CRN that its ideal window for an IPO is about 18 months away.