DriveNets Adds $7M Funding from Microsoft, Seagate & Palo Alto Networks Vets

The Israeli startup, which develops a cloud router, previously raised $110 million in February. Now it adds $7 million plus seasoned industry executive support.

July 8, 2019

3 Min Read

  • Business leaders back DriveNets' vision of a new telco-scale network architecture that will change the networking operational and economic model for decades to come

  • Steve Luczo, Chairman of Seagate's Board of Directors joins DriveNets' board 

Ra'anana, Israel -- DriveNets, the networking software company, today announced the high profile strategic investors who have joined their $117M Series A round [$110 million was raised initially and now an additional $7 million has been raised as part of an extended Series A round]:

  • Steve Luczo, chairman of the board of Seagate and its former CEO;

  • Mark McLaughlin, former CEO of Palo Alto Networks,

  • and John Thompson, chairman of the board of Microsoft.

Steve Luczo has also joined DriveNets' Board of Directors. The new investors bring enormous business and industry experience that will help guide DriveNets as it pushes the boundaries of how CSPs build and pay for their networks and grow in profitability.

Other key strategic investors include C4 Ventures, the fund created and led by Pascal Cagni, former GM and VP for Apple EMEIA (2000–2012); Doug Gilstrap, former CEO and COO of global data telecom companies and former head of strategy for Ericsson; and Benny Schnaider, a successful Israeli entrepreneur with six successful startup exits to date, two of which were sold to Cisco. This high-profile endorsement of DriveNets validates the industry's respect for the software networking company whose technology has already been adopted by a tier–1 North American service provider. 

Communication service providers (CSPs) are now facing the greatest demand surge in their history, but their current network architecture has not changed in years and cannot efficiently accommodate this massive opportunity. They cannot scale up capacity economically and require long lead times to deliver basic services, which impacts their growth and profitability. DriveNets solves these challenges with a radically new way to build networks. Adapting the architectural model of hyperscalers to Telco-grade networking, it offers a software-based networking solution – Network Cloud – that radically simplifies the network's operational model.  

Network Cloud is a fully disaggregated, cloud-native software that runs the routing data on carrier-grade white boxes with only two types of white-box building blocks, and the control plane on standard servers. It turns the network into a fully-optimized shared resource that can support many networks, with Telco-scale performance and a more profitable economic model.  

Steve Luczo is joining current board members Ido Susan, Hillel Kobrinsky, Adam Fisher, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners and Aaron Mankovski, Managing General Partner at Pitango Growth.

In addition to his leadership of Seagate's Board of Directors, Steve also served on the boards of Microsoft, VMware and Veritas. "I am excited to work with the talented team at DriveNets and help guide the company's business strategy, product development and key strategic alliances. I see great similarity between my role at DriveNets and the time I served on the board of VMware, the company that revolutionized virtualization. I am excited about a similar opportunity, this time in the Telco space," said Steve Luczo.  

DriveNets was founded by Ido Susan and Hillel Kobrinsky, two successful telco entrepreneurs. Susan previously co-founded Intucell, the company that invented the Self Optimizing Network (SON) which was acquired by Cisco in 2013 for $475 million. Kobrinsky founded the web conferencing specialist, Interwise, which was acquired by AT&T for $121 million.

"The transition to the cloud is inevitable and the pace has clearly accelerated over the past 2–3 years." said John Thompson, Partner at Lightspeed Ventures and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Microsoft. "Ido and his team understand how the promise of the cloud meets the needs of the Telcos and I believe their vision can help CSPs enhance their profitability in the face of staggering demand for services. DriveNets is creating a positive disruption in the market that service providers should pay close attention to."  


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