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Cato Networks, Fresh Off $130 Million Funding Round, Eyes ‘Aggressive Expansion’

Money Bag

Secure access service edge (SASE) provider Cato Networks plans to grow its staff by about 50% over the next year, thanks to a new $130 million funding round.

The Israel-based company has raised a total of $332 million in financing.

As a result, Cato is planning an “aggressive expansion” that encompasses marketing, engineering and all other aspects of the company, according to CEO Shlomo Kramer. The vendor projects that it will increase its staff from about 270 to 400 a year from now. Cato has signed approximately 650 enterprise customers over the last five years and established more than 60 points of presence in data centers over the last five years. Kramer said he anticipates strong growth across North America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific.

Cato's Shlomo Kramer

Cato’s Shlomo Kramer

“The market is there. The solution is great and ready. It’s all about us getting in front of more customers and more partners,” Kramer said.

Lightspeed Venture Partners led the funding again, alongside several other investors. Kramer also participated in the funding round.

Value Proposition

Cato executives explained why the company has tagged itself with a $1 billion valuation. They point to the company’s platform, which converges security and networking capabilities that businesses often buy separately.

For example, a company might turn to Aryaka for a private network backbone, VMware VeloCloud for branch-based SD-WAN, Zscaler for cloud-based security and AWS for cloud data center integration. And these providers pile up as remote work and cloud-based computing expand, creating more complexity and cost.

Cato's Yishay Yovel

Cato’s Yishay Yovel

“What it’s meant for many organizations is that they had to deploy new point solutions to solve these new problems that started to show up at their doorstep,” Cato chief marketing officer Yishay Yovel said.

But Cato seeks to provide the aggregated value of all those providers in a single platform. And while countless companies have made acquisitions and announcements regarding their SASE offerings, Kramer said Cato is the only one to build it “from the ground up.”

Kramer said about 70% of the Cato customer base uses both the platform’s networking features and advanced security features. And approximately all of them use basic security and networking.

“We have multiple paths, but we are seeing more and more customers choosing to go all in,” Kramer said.

Cato delivers its platform in self-managed, fully managed and co-managed models.

Cato Networks reported a $77 million funding round back in the spring. The company credited the channel for much of its growth and vowed to invest in channel development and joint marketing programs.

Cato hired a channel chief earlier this year and also launched a SASE accreditation.

Kramer, who co-founded Check Point and Imperva, founded Cato in 2015 with Gur Shatz. Kramer noted in a blog Tuesday that Cato initially targeted the enterprise midmarket but has added Fortune 500 companies to its client list.


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