DriveNets is a leading provider of routing solutions that are software-based and its clients including service providers use them as virtualized services functioning on white box architecture. It has now raised $208M in overall funding in its Series B round and is now valued at more than $1B as per lundentechcrunch. The startup is enabling companies and people to bulk up networks without purchasing expensive equipment, which assumes significance at a time when people are more dependent upon the internet for executing their tasks.
The company is planning to use the funds to keep growing its business worldwide, while tailoring its business towards covering more use cases that go beyond service providers and carriers, ultimately tapping bigger companies that stream media in sizable amounts and possess higher network control as a result. CEO at the company, Ido Susan, stated that future transactions are under NDAs although he talked of how there is a massive opportunity in being in proximity to end-customers for those desirous of catering to their customers with cloud gaming, 5G abilities or bandwidth which has lower latency levels.
D1 Capital Partners led this funding round while there was participation from earlier investors like Pitango (which led the earlier $110 million funding round) and Bessemer Venture Partners as well. Atreides Management also took part in the funding round. The latest funding round was done at more than double of the valuation of the company in the year 2019. D1 Capital Partners has been investing handsomely since the last year itself, putting bigger bets on entities which are gaining attention due to the pandemic. These include Instacart and Warby Parker in the e-commerce space, fintech player TransferWise, online car sales brand Cazoo, gaming entity Unity, and Bolt, which is a transportation based startup.
Prior to the latest funding round, AT&T was one of the major customers at DriveNets and its round is also attributed to emerging market trends and its strong track record in recent times. Susan stated that the internet was witnessing 30-40% of annual growth prior to COVID-19 although the pandemic has accelerated things further. At the same time, Susan also said that carriers were earlier stating that virtual networks were impossible to build and today, it is a question of early adoption. He stated that the company is garnering positive traction currently with every individual working or studying from home itself, leading to higher demand for bandwidth and internet capacity. This has led to great sales figures for the company as well.
The core offering at DriveNets is an affordable yet flexible substitute for conventional network routers which depend on virtualized architecture frameworks. Routers have conventionally been hardware offerings that fuse hardware and software into branded boxes. DriveNets, as envisioned by co-founders Hillel Kobrinsky and Ido Susan, provides generic white boxes, working with providers for the same. These function on the basis of the Network Cloud system that runs the DriveNets Operating System. Service providers have control over their servers and white boxes via the virtualized service that is operated with open APIs for automation and configuration and also Docker containers. This enables easier addition, removal and flexibility in terms of overall capacity.