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Cato Networks looks for growth after it lands funding

SASE specialist Cato Networks is looking for growth and the chance to get its product into the hands of more partners

Cato Networks has indicated that it will be using part of its latest funding to make life easier for its channel partners.

The secure access service edge (SASE) specialist has secured a further $200m in funding, and is now valued at $2.5bn, with venture capital supporting the senior management’s vision.

Some of that cash will be used to help more partners across the channel get a chance to sell cloud SASE, with the vendor planning an expansion that should provide more opportunities for resellers.

Cato has developed its SASE cloud product built on its own technology, with the claim that it offers flexibility and speed that other products cannot deliver.

“Cato is at the forefront of SASE transformation,” said Shlomo Kramer, CEO and co-founder of Cato Networks. “Cato is rapidly expanding its service capabilities, global footprint, and sales and marketing teams, while preserving our unique DNA of agility, simplicity and ease of doing business that is so valued by customers and partners.”

The latest round of funding was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with the participation of existing investors Greylock, Aspect Ventures/Acrew Capital, Coatue, Singtel Innov8, and Shlomo Kramer.

“Cato has seen an amazing adoption of its SASE platform by increasingly larger enterprises,” said Yoni Cheifetz, a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. “What started as a disruptive innovation and a novel idea, is now a fast-growing business that is at the heart of enterprises’ mission critical operations.”

The firm’s growth expectations are based on its own experiences selling SASE as well as some bullish market predictions from the likes of Gartner that are forecasting that the total addressable market will reach $11bn by 2024.

Research from Versa Networks, released earlier this summer, indicated that 34% of customers had already adopted SASE and 30% planned to get involved by next summer.

There was some confusion about what SASE actually offered, but the idea of security resonated with customers keen to secure their networks.

“While the survey shows that there is still some work to do in educating IT and security professionals about the true meaning of SASE, the imperative to address both remote security and connectivity issues has led companies away from the old VPN [virtual private network] technologies that were riddled with security holes towards SASE, which gives them a compass for the future,” said Michael Wood, CMO of Versa Networks.

“While SASE has served them well during lockdown, it will also prove a major asset as they contemplate the move back to the office and towards hybrid working,” he said back in June.

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