Networking Company Pensando Systems Raises $145 Million In Funding

By Amit Chowdhry ● October 23, 2019
  • Pensando Systems, a company pioneering the new edge services model of cloud computing, announced it raised $145 million led by HPE and Lightspeed

Pensando Systems — a company pioneering the new edge services model of enterprise and cloud computing founded by former Cisco executives Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain, Luca Cafiero, and Soni Jiandani (collectively known as “MPLS”) — announced it has raised $145 million in Series C funding led by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Pensando Systems also revealed that former Cisco chief John Chambers is the company chairman.

Pensando has been operating in stealth mode and the company also announced the launch of its software-defined edge services platform — which is competing against Nitro by Amazon Web Services. Pensando’s platform delivers highly programmable software-defined cloud, compute, networking, storage, and security services wherever data is located. And its unique capability means that cloud providers can now gain a technological advantage over the current market leader — which is Amazon Web Services Nitro. The Pensando platform delivers 5-9x improvements in productivity, performance, and scale compared to current architectures with no risk of lock-in.

Including this funding round, Pensando has raised a total of $278 million. This funding round will be used for accelerating engineering and operations along with go-to-market goals.

According to Dow Jones, the four Pensando founders departed from Cisco due to reported disagreements with their roles as part of a reorganization under Cisco Chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins — who succeeded Chambers a few years ago.

Chambers left Cisco in 2015 and retired from the chairman role in 2017. From there, Chambers launched a venture capital firm called JC2 Ventures and invested in Pensando as part of an early round.

Former Cisco EVP of Operations Randy Pond currently serves as the chief financial officer at Pensando.

“Ongoing participation from early-stage strategic investors and customers is a valuable performance metric for any growing business,” said Pond. “I’m very pleased that this round also brought us two great new customer investors and a leading VC firm in HPE, Equinix and Lightspeed Venture Partners. We are now extremely well-positioned to ramp our end-to-end operations, engineering and go-to-market activities for the next generation of the cloud.”

And Hewlett Packard Enterprise chief technology officer Mark Potter and Lightspeed founding partner Barry Eggers have joined the board at Pensando.

“Today’s rapidly transforming, hyper-connected world requires enterprises to operate with even greater flexibility and choices than ever before,” added Potter. “HPE’s expanding relationship with Pensando Systems stems from our shared understanding of enterprises and the cloud. We are proud to announce our investment and solution partnership with Pensando and will continue to drive solutions that anticipate our customers’ needs together.”

As 5G, IoT, artificial intelligence, and massive application growth are transforming the way modern enterprises operate, absit 75% of enterprise data will be created and processed at the edge by 2025 according to Gartner. This change is driving modern infrastructure to a scale-out approach, which will also require scale-out services to match.

Pensando is considered the first secure, programmable, and edge-accelerated platform that directly addresses the generational shift occurring as data pushes to the edge of the cloud. And the foundation of the Pensando platform is a custom programmable processor optimized to execute a software stack delivering cloud, compute, networking, storage and security services wherever data is located — all managed via the Venice Centralized Policy and Services Controller.

“As a leader in enterprise investing, we are excited to partner with the world-class team at Pensando, who have demonstrated the ability to repeatedly redefine how enterprise networks are built,” explained Eggers.

Goldman Sachs is also an investor in Pensando. And Pensando has partnerships with Oracle, NetApp, and Equinix.

“Goldman Sachs is significantly simplifying our data center architecture and reducing expenses with Pensando,” commented Joshua Matheus, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs. “Pensando allows us to secure our east-west data center traffic while ensuring compliance, and at the same time, with improved telemetry, we reduce our time-to-problem resolution from hours to minutes.”

With Pensando, cloud providers are armed with a dynamic infrastructure that not only competes with the leading hyperscalers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) but it also delivers a multi-generational technological lead over them. And enterprises can now transform their current infrastructure into a cloud-like environment that seamlessly and securely extends to the public cloud. Plus Pensando gives service providers the ability to rapidly innovate and securely deploy new services at hyperscale.

“In less than 3 years we’ve assembled a best in class engineering team that are experts in building systems for the cloud, compute, networking, storage and security markets” noted Jain. “As a customer and partner first company we are focused on accelerating all aspects of our business as we go to market with a great ecosystem and a breakthrough platform.”

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome two new members to the Pensando board,” said Chambers. “I look forward to working closely with Mark and Barry as we focus on accelerating our operations and go-to-market activities.”