Versa Networks Raises $84M In Funding To Fuel SASE Strategy
The latest funding round will continue to help Versa’s SASE approach stand out in the crowded market, the company’s CEO tells CRN.
SD-WAN-turned-SASE specialist Versa Networks announced today that it has raised $84 million in a Series D funding round that will pump dollars into the company’s go-to-market, sales, and channel partner initiatives.
The latest funding round follows a record-breaking year for Versa. The company saw its worldwide sales in enterprises and channel partner registrations double, Versa Networks CEO Kelly Ahuja told CRN. Ahuja said the firm will expand its workforce to 600 by the end of this year.
“SASE is the fastest-growing category in networking and security,” said Ahuja (pictured). “We’re growing faster than the market and the competition, and we’re delivering results.”
The company today has more than 5,000 customers, 500,000 sites and tens of millions of users now using the Versa platform, Ahuja said.
The latest funding round brings the company’s total amount raised to $196 million. The funding round was co-led by investors Princeville Capital and RPS Ventures, with additional participation from existing investors, including Sequoia Capital, according to San Jose, Calif.-based Versa.
The company will put the funding toward accelerating its marketing and sales teams, as well as its go-to-market strategy with its partners, which are an important piece of the puzzle for Versa. The company does nearly 100 percent of its business through the channel, Ahuja said.
Versa is also actively expanding its coverage. It’s doubling its sales force within North America, Europe, LATAM, and Asia, he said.
An important aspect of the new funding is the awareness it will help raise around SASE, or Secure Access Service Edge, which is an architectural approach to IT that combines networking and security. Many enterprises are still trying to figure out SASE, a term that is often used as a buzzword, Ahuja said.
The SD-WAN and SASE space has seen a great deal of consolidation in recent years. Cisco Systems acquired Viptela and VMware scooped up SD-WAN player VeloCloud in 2017. More recently, HPE’s Aruba bought Silver Peak in 2020 and in the same year, security provider Palo Alto Networks bought CloudGenix.
Versa, on the other hand, has been able to stay independent. That’s in part because security has always been part of Versa’s SD-WAN solution, Ahuja said.
Versa’s SASE offering is an integrated software stack and hardware-agnostic that can scale to provide SASE services via the cloud, on-premises, or as a blended combination of both. The offering gives users a single interface to configure and implement corporate policies, according to the company.
“We built a platform that is complete and meets all the definitions of SASE, but more importantly, meets all what the customers need,” he said.
The SASE market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 42 percent, reaching almost $11 billion, with least 40 percent of enterprises having SASE adoption strategies in place by 2024, according to research firm Gartner.
Versa in January unveiled its first-ever formal channel partner program, Versa ACE — Accelerate, Captivate, Engage — partner program for VARs, MSPs, and service providers.