As Cato plans for IPO, company to grow headcount by 40%

In a look back at 2021, SASE provider Cato Networks said its revenue has increased 96% year-on-year, and that it has a valuation of $2.5 billion and plans to grow headcount by 40%. In 2020, the company was valued at $1 billion. More insight into Cato's financials could be on its way – the company plans to go public in a few years, said Eyal Webber-Zvik, VP of product marketing at Cato Networks.

Currently a private company, Cato didn't provide more specific financial information on its 2021 revenue, but the company appears to be growing quickly. Cato has 500 employees worldwide with plans to add 200 more this year, said Webber-Zvik.

"We plan to end the year with about 700 employees," said Webber-Zvik. "That's the conflict – usually when business accelerates beyond what we planned, we accelerate our hiring. Those hirings are distributed worldwide … and account for almost all parts of the company."

Cato has also been busy shifting from competitor to partner in the service provider space, forming tie-ups with companies including Japan-based telco KDDI Corp, Horizon Telecom and MSP and last-mile provider Expereo.

"We have a few partnerships that I can't name yet that are in advanced stages with large telcos that we'll announce maybe this quarter or next quarter," said Webber-Zvik.

Cato said channel deal registrations increased 92% year-on-year in 2021, and contributing partners grew by 41%. In October, Cato brought in $200 million in funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, and it announced a strategic investment by Swisscom Ventures in December.

Cato also added 13 PoPs in 2021 to reach 73 PoPs globally and deliver services to over 150 countries. In addition, Cato has 1,100 enterprise customers, and 17,000 branches and cloud instances of Cato SASE Cloud deployed. Cato also said its SASE certification program has grown since its launch in 2020; to date, 2,116 individuals have achieved certification.

Earlier this month, Cato added Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB), which controls access to cloud applications. Cato said the CASB feature improves visibility, assessment, enforcement and protection across cloud applications.

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— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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