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Cato Networks seals significant investment to take SASE forward

More validation for secure access service edge solutions as SD-WAN provider scoops cash injection

In the company’s largest funding round yet, converged software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) and network security provider Cato Networks, which also claims to be the pioneer of secure access service edge (SASE) network solutions, has announced a $77m funding round from the venture capital community and its own senior management.

The round, which takes the total funding above $200m, was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with the participation of Aspect Ventures, Greylock Partners, Singtel Innov8, US Venture Partners (USVP), and Cato CEO and co-founder Shlomo Kramer.

Cato said the key differentiator between its solutions and legacy networks built from multiple point solutions and telco services was that its technology connects and secures an entire enterprise including remote users, sites, applications and clouds with a global service. It has also claimed the first true implementation of Gartner’s SASE framework that converges SD-WAN and network security for all enterprise edges into the cloud.

The company regards the funding round as a demonstration of investors’ confidence in its vision to provide enterprises with an agile and secure network that can adapt to future challenges. It comes on the heels of a business year that saw a 220% increase in bookings and what the company describes as a “very strong” first quarter of 2020.

“This round of financing is a testament to the unique value Cato delivers to customers even under the most difficult business conditions. The global pandemic has disrupted business-as-usual and underscored the need for an adaptable infrastructure,” said Kramer.

“While many companies struggle to enable work-from-home remote access to all employees, Cato customers only had to flip a switch. That’s the power of one converged global network and security platform enabling enterprises to be ready for whatever’s next,” he added.

“Enthusiasm for SASE is growing and the 40% adoption rate Gartner projected by 2024 may come much sooner as enterprises, coming out of recent events, recognise the importance of securely connecting remote employees to critical applications and data”
Jeff Brown, Open Systems

Lightspeed partner Yoni Cheifetz said Cato revolutionises the way IT thinks about networking and security. “The convergence of these two categories is a paradigm shift that completely transforms the IT cost-benefit model,” he said. “It’s why Cato routinely displaces legacy telco services and appliance-based solutions in enterprises of all sizes. We believe Cato is uniquely positioned to disrupt the global market for security, networking and access with an architecture that is unmatched by any other solution available today.”

The investment was also cheered by fellow SASE providers. Jeff Brown, CEO of Open Systems, a SASE company which provides cloud-native architecture, secure intelligent edge and hybrid cloud support on the back of Cato Networks, said: “Cato’s latest funding is another validation for SASE and adds to the momentum received last week with the news Palo Alto Networks is acquiring CloudGenix. The enthusiasm for SASE is growing and the 40% adoption rate Gartner projected by 2024 may come much sooner as enterprises, coming out of recent events, recognise the importance of securely connecting remote employees to critical applications and data.”

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