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Kentik Scores $23M in Funding for Cloud Network Analytics

Mitch Wagner

Kentik Technologies, founded by former network operators to provide network analytics in the cloud, has received a $23 million third round of funding, bringing the total to $38.2 million.

Kentik Technologies Inc. provides network traffic intelligence using software-as-a-service and big data in the cloud. "We look at getting all the data from the network instrumentation layer, putting it in one place, and giving all the players access to it," CEO Avi Freedman tells Light Reading. (See Kentik Technologies Closes $23 Million Series B Funding Round.)

The service is designed for service providers and large enterprises with big, complex networks. It provides insights for network traffic planning and engineering, peering analytics, and deployment and capacity planning, as well as network availability, denial of service protection and mitigation.

As networks proliferate and grow in complexity, connecting users to essential cloud services and connecting devices on the Internet of Things, network management and analytics have been struggling to keep up, giving Kentik both competition and potential partnerships.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) recently announced Tetration, an ambitious project to use big data for network analytics, like Kentik does. However, the service is focused on the data center, and only works with Cisco's Nexus switches, Freedman says. (See Cisco Launches Data Center Analytics for Obsessives.)

Arbor Networks , which provides DDoS and advanced threat protection, is Kentik's main competition. But Arbor is appliance-based, while Kentik operates in the cloud and does not require hardware, Freedman says. Arbor is owned by NetScout Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: NTCT). (See NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation.)

And Apstra , backed by Arista Networks Inc. co-founder David Cheriton, went out of stealth mode in June with a network operating system designed to manage networks with equipment from multiple vendors. Kentik sees Apstra as a potential partner.

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Kentik has 45 employees, and is two and a half years old. It went from zero revenue to single-digit millions of dollars last year, and will be in the mid or high single digits by the end of this year, expecting to top $10 million next year, Freedman said. This is its Series B funding round, following a seed round and Series A. It's led by Third Point Ventures, with participation by existing investors August Capital, Data Collective (DCVC), First Round Capital and Engineering Capital, and new investors Glynn Capital and David Ulevitch.

Kentik plans to use the funding to increase headcount and build partnerships.

Kentik's founders have a background with service providers and network operators. Freedman started NetAccess, the first Internet provider in Philadelphia, in 1992. After selling that, he built optical network operator AboveNet, then switched tracks to network management and monitoring. Other co-founders worked at CloudFlare and other network operators, including Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX).

— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor, Light Reading Enterprise Cloud

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Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/25/2016 | 9:33:57 PM
Re: Cheriton
@Mitch: My observation/speculation is based primarily on the curious case of the OptumSoft-Arista litigation.

Cheriton is (or, at least, was at the time) Arista's largest shareholder, indirectly, by way of an irrevocable trust set aside for his children, holding just shy of 25% of the company.  A legal decision favoring OptumSoft and disfavoring Arista, causing Arista to forfeit its IP rights for certain software to OptumSoft, would likely have led to a not inconsequential hit to Arista's stock.

In other words, the OptumSoft litigation was pretty much Cheriton attempting to cut off his nose to spite his face.

Unless I'm missing something.
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
8/5/2016 | 1:54:59 PM
Re: Cheriton
Even someone who cares more about tech can be interested in intellectual property. 
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/4/2016 | 5:54:14 PM
Interesting.  I am of the impression (and perhaps I am wrong) that Cheriton cares less about the $$$ and more about the tech and what truly interests him, so anything he's involved with automatically gets my attention at the very least.
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