DriveNets: Several Strategic Investors Joined The $117 Million Round

By Amit Chowdhry ● July 11, 2019
  • Networking software company DriveNets has announced that several high profile strategic investors have joined the $117 million Series A round

DriveNets — a networking software company — announced that a number of high profile strategic investors have joined the $117 million Series A round including Steve Luczo (chairman of the board and former CEO of Seagate), Mark McLaughlin (Vice Chairman of the Board at Palo Alto Networks), and John Thompson (chairman of the board at Microsoft and venture partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners).

These new investors bring business and industry expertise that will help guide DriveNets as it pushes the boundaries of how communication service providers (CSPs) build and pay for their networks and grow in profitability. Other key strategic investors include C4 Ventures — which is the fund created and led by former Apple VP and general manager Pascal Cagni, Doug Gilstrap (former CEO/COO of global data telecom companies and former head of strategy for Ericsson), and Benny Schnaider (successful Israeli entrepreneur with 6 startup exits of which 2 were to Cisco).

CSPs are facing the greatest demand surge in their history, but the current network architecture has not changed in years and cannot efficiently accommodate this massive opportunity. Plus they cannot scale up capacity economically and require long lead times to deliver basic services — which impacts their growth and profitability.

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DriveNets fixes these problems with a new way to build networks. And adapting the architectural model of hyperscalers to Telco-grade networking, it offers a software-based networking solution called Network Cloud. 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. Plus 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. 

“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,” said DriveNets CEO and co-founder Ido Susan. “We are also delighted to have Steve Luczo join our board and we will benefit from his experience and hands-on involvement in our business growth.”

Luczo will be joining the current members of DriveNets’ board, including Susan, Hillel Kobrinsky, Adam Fisher (partner at Bessemer Venture Partners), and Aaron Mankovski (managing general partner at Pitango Growth).

“I am excited to work with the talented team at DriveNets and help guide the company’s business strategy, product development and key strategic alliances. I see great similarity between my role at DriveNets and the time I served on the board of VMware, the company that revolutionized virtualization. I am excited about a similar opportunity, this time in the Telco space,” added Luczo.

DriveNets was founded by Susan and Kobrinsky — both of whom are successful Telco entrepreneurs. Susan previously co-founded Intucell (the company that invented SON: Self Optimizing Network) — which was acquired by Cisco for $475 million in 2013. And Kobrinsky founded the web conferencing specialist Interwise (acquired by AT&T for $121 million).

“The transition to the cloud is inevitable and the pace has clearly accelerated over the past 2-3 years,” explained Thompson. “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.” 

DriveNets’ software is able to handle substantial amounts of data across a network from 4 terabytes to 768 terabytes per second, according to Business Insider. As a comparison, a fast corporate network is able to run equipment that handles 100 gigabytes per second. And DriveNets already has more than 200 employees between Israel and New Jersey. And the company is on track to generate “tens of millions of dollars in revenue every year.”

“DriveNets has done incredible work with a top US Telco in transforming its network and business model,” said noted Cagni. “The C4 Ventures Team and I look forward to collaborating with Ido and his team to drive similar success with top European SPs. We believe that the European market is equally ripe for Telco-scale cloud disruption”.