DriveNets expands financing round to $117m

DriveNets staff Photo: Tamuz Rahman

Microsoft chairman John Thompson is among three new investors in the Israeli networking software company.

Israeli networking software company DriveNets today announced the expansion of its Series A financing round to $117 million with the addition of three new investors: Microsoft chairman John Thompson, Seagate chairman Steve Luczo, and former Palo Alto Networks CEO Mark McLaughlin. Luczo has also joined DriveNets' Board of Directors.

In February, DriveNets announced it had raised $110 million in its Series A financing round. Key strategic investors include C4 Ventures, the fund created and led by Pascal Cagni, former GM and VP for Apple EMEIA (2000-2012), Doug Gilstrap, former CEO and COO of global data telecom companies and former head of strategy for Ericsson, and Benny Schnaider, a successful Israeli entrepreneur with six successful startup exits to date, two of which were sold to Cisco.

DriveNets says that this high-profile endorsement of validates the industry's respect for the software networking company whose technology has already been adopted by a tier-1 North American service provider.

DriveNets explains that communication service providers (CSPs) are facing the greatest demand surge in their history, but their current network architecture has not changed in years and cannot efficiently accommodate this massive opportunity. They cannot scale up capacity economically and require long lead times to deliver basic services, which impacts their growth and profitability. DriveNets solves these challenges with a radically new way to build networks. Adapting the architectural model of hyperscalers to Telco-grade networking, it offers a software-based networking solution - Network Cloud - that radically simplifies the network's operational model.

Network Cloud is a fully disaggregated, cloud-native software that runs the routing data on carrier-grade white boxes with only two types of white-box building blocks, and the control plane on standard servers. It turns the network into a fully-optimized shared resource that can support many networks, with Telco-scale performance and a more profitable economic model.

DriveNets was founded by CEO Ido Susan and Hillel Kobrinsky, two successful Telco entrepreneurs. Susan previously co-founded Intucell, the company that invented the Self Optimizing Network (SON) which was acquired by Cisco in 2013 for $475 million. Kobrinsky founded the web conferencing specialist, Interwise, which was acquired by AT&T for $121 million.

Susan said, "Our investors are industry leaders in some of the greatest technology companies in the world. They have disrupted industries and built multi-billion-dollar companies. We are proud that they have put their trust in us. Their broad experience and business knowledge will guide us as we grow our company and scale our reach, as well as help us to better serve our customers."

"The transition to the cloud is inevitable and the pace has clearly accelerated over the past 2-3 years," said John Thompson, Partner at Lightspeed Ventures and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Microsoft. "Ido and his team understand how the promise of the cloud meets the needs of the Telcos and I believe their vision can help CSPs enhance their profitability in the face of staggering demand for services. DriveNets is creating a positive disruption in the market that service providers should pay close attention to."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 8, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

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DriveNets staff Photo: Tamuz Rahman
DriveNets staff Photo: Tamuz Rahman
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