The 10 Coolest Edge Computing Startups Of 2020
From market newcomers, to edge computing and colocation, and SASE upstarts with a few years of experience under their belts, here are ten of the hottest edge computing startups that were on the scene this year.
Innovating At The Edge
The worldwide edge computing market is predicted to reach approximately $250 billion in 2024, according to research firm IDC. An impressive 46 percent of all edge spending by 2024 will be in the form of services, followed by hardware at 32 percent, and then edge-related software at 22 percent. That leaves the door open for a wide swath of edge computing startups to assist businesses seeking to collect, secure, and process the explosion of data being generated at the edge.
But the edge still means many things to many different businesses and upstarts. For some companies, it means extending compute, storage, and data analytics to new places – like hospital parking lots or curbside locations for retail locations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For others, it refers to not only the branch office anymore, but anywhere the employee is working, even their homes. Businesses are often working with a variety of vendors to tackle edge, including the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) players, edge computing application automation software providers, and edge colocation vendors, to name a few.
From market newcomers to upstarts with a few years of experience under their belts, here are ten of the hottest edge computing startups that were on the scene this year.
Amar Kapadia, CEO, Co-founder
Aarna Networks, an upstart that specializes in 5G and edge computing application automation software, offers an open source, vendor-agnostic solution for businesses.
Founded in 2017, Aarna Networks has its Multi Cluster Orchestration Platform (AMCOP) for orchestration, lifecycle management, and real-time policy driven control loop automation of 5G network services and edge computing applications, according to the San Jose, Calif.-based company. Aarna is a channel-friendly firm that goes to market through VARs to connect to enterprise customers.
Adi Ruppin, CEO
New to the edge networking scene is Ananda Networks, a startup founded by networking and cybersecurity entrepreneurs that emerged from stealth mode this year.
The San Francisco-based company is focusing on distributed computing and helping businesses create private networks to connect all users, regardless of location. Ananda in August revealed its flagship Secure Global LAN (SG-LAN) solution and announced $6 million in seed funding from MizMaa Ventures, Citrix Systems, Gefen Capital, Cyber Mentor Fund, GreatPoint Ventures, South Korean cybersecurity firm Jiran, J-Ventures, and individual investors.
Shlomo Kramer, CEO, Co-founder
Cato Networks provides software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) and security at the edge -- a self-proclaimed SASE provider. Cato’s Edge SD-WAN device, Cato Socket, comes in two zero-touch models that can be up and running in minutes, while its Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) converges the function of network and security point solutions into a unified cloud-native service.
Cato in August secured its largest round of financing yet of $77 million, bringing its total funding to date to more than $200 million. The company said the funding followed a 220 percent increase in bookings and a very strong first quarter of 2020, despite global pressures, including the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Five-year old Cato Networks does 100 percent of its business through partners.
Mike Hagan, CEO, Founder
EdgeMicro specializes in providing edge colocation data centers tied with its proprietary Edge Traffic Exchange technology that facilitates local IP access between cellular radios, cached data and compute services directly at the tower, according to the company, which got its start in 2017.
The Denver-based company’s edge data centers can be located at any fiber point such as in parking lots and roof-tops. EdgeMicro provides services around site location, engineering and design, installation, commissioning, maintenance and monitoring. In August, the company announced it would be launching five new micro data centers in Cleveland, Indianapolis, Memphis, Houston and Pittsburgh.
Farah Papaioannou, CEO
Three-year old Edgeworx is focused on bringing Kubernetes to the IoT edge with its ioFOG Engine, which allows customers to run any software on any endpoint using open source technology. The ioFOG software is seamlessly integrated with Kubernetes to enable Kubernetes to orchestrate microservices all the way to the edge. The startup’s edge-native infrastructure tools and platforms enable developers and operators to extend their cloud to the edge, according to Edgeworx.
The edge-native open source software startup, headquartered in San Jose, California, is helping schools and businesses open safely with its new AI-powered camera called Darcy, which can check for fevers, symptoms, and even mask-wearing.
Parag Thakore, CEO, Co-Founder
Edge Networking startup Infiot burst onto the scene this year with a new approach to edge networking and connectivity at time when demand for Internet of Things applications and remote working is at an all-time high, the company told CRN in October.
Infiot, founded in 2018 by networking and SD-WAN industry veterans, emerged from stealth mode this year with $15 million, a Series A funding round backed by Lightspeed Venture Partners, Neotribe Ventures, Westwave Capital, and Harpoon Ventures. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based startup said it is putting the money toward building out its channel, Infiot‘s primary route to market, Infiot said.
Prem Jain, CEO
Edge cloud startup Pensando Systems is busy creating a new edge services model of enterprise and cloud computing. The company, backed by Cisco’s former CEO John Chambers, includes a platform with a custom, programmable P4 processor, dubbed Capri, optimized to execute a software stack delivering cloud, compute, network, storage and security services at cloud scale with minimal latency and low power requirements, according to the company.
The Milpitas, Calif.-based startup, founded in 2017, announced in November that it received funding from Qualcomm Ventures that will help the company expand into the 5G and service provider market.
Cole Crawford, CEO, Founder
Vapor IO emerged from stealth mode in 2015 with its Kinetic Edge platform that delivers edge colocation, edge exchange and edge networking services. Vapor IO incorporates software-defined networking-based edge technologies to eliminate unnecessary latency between user and applications.
The edge computing startup, based in Austin, Texas, raised $90 million in funding in January to help deploy its Kinetic Edge platform in the top 36 U.S. metro markets by the end of 2021, according to Vapor IO.
Kelly Ahuja, CEO
Security-focused SD-WAN player, Versa Networks, is one of the startups in the SD-WAN and SASE space that has stayed independent as the market continues to shrink due to consolidation. But competition isn‘t slowing down San Jose, California-based Versa.
The company in June introduced Versa Secure Access, a cloud-based offering gives channel partners a scalable, remote access service that lets customers securely connect to applications in both private and public clouds. The offering is a part of Versa‘s growing portfolio of solutions aimed at helping businesses transform their infrastructures to enable remote work and users accessing applications from any location -- not just the campus or branch office.
Said Ouissal, CEO
Edge orchestration provider Zededa provides centralized visibility, control and protection of the edge as a cloud-delivered service. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup aims to accelerate the adoption of IoT and artificial intelligence with edge virtualization software that makes it easy to deploy applications at the edge. That starts with Zededa’s Edge Quick Control tool, which offers includes one-click Microsoft Azure IoT edge enablement, zero-touch provisioning and full visibility into and control of all deployments.
Zededa was founded in 2016 by engineers and executives who previously worked at Arista Networks, Pivotal Software and Juniper Networks.