Versa moves closer to IPO with $120M in funding

SASE provider Versa Networks is gearing up to go public with a new pre-IPO round of $120 million in funding. The funding round was led by BlackRock. Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Citi acted as exclusive advisor and placement agent to Versa.

In June 2021, Versa raised $84 million in a Series D round led by Princeville Capital and RPS Ventures, plus existing investors such as Sequoia Capital. Later that month, Colt Technology Services also joined the service providers utilizing Versa's SASE services for its enterprise customers.

CEO Kelly Ahuja said the new $120 million in financing will go toward growing sales efforts and partnerships and provide a firm financial foundation in moving toward an IPO. He added that the secure access service edge (SASE) company plans to continue hiring more staff as well.

Versa Networks CEO Kelly Ahuja.
Versa Networks CEO Kelly Ahuja.

"We've actually raised this financing to help us expand our go-to-market because the market is there. The opportunity is now and we just need to grow our sales base and our partner base, and then also drive some of the key innovations that we need to complete," said Ahuja.

Versa differs from some other SASE providers in that many of its networking and security components are "home grown," Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst of ZK Research, told Light Reading last June. A few other SASE suppliers, such as Cato Networks and Aryaka, have also taken this approach. Kerravala says Versa has done a solid job of building its own portfolio and providing a customer console that's easy to use.

Versa's SASE service is available via the cloud, on-premises or as a combination of both. The company's services include secure SD-WAN, firewall-as-a-service, unified threat management (UTM) including advanced threat protection (ATP), secure web gateway (SWG), zero trust network access (ZTNA), cloud access security broker (CASB), data loss prevention (DLP), remote browser isolation (RBI) and user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA).

The SASE market is forecast to reach $15 billion in 2025, according to Gartner. Versa has 84% of SASE market share, according to Dell'Oro, and 13 of 15 SASE components, as identified by Gartner. According to Gartner, 13 is the most SASE components of the vendors it evaluated.

However, Kerravala told Light Reading last year that quantity of SASE components doesn't automatically mean quality.

"I don't know if having the most [SASE components] matters as much as having the right ones," he said. "Having the most doesn't matter as much as having it easy to deploy, easy to manage and having a single policy."

According to Gartner, top SASE vendors include Cato Networks, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, Versa Networks, VMware and Zscaler.

Versa has over 5,000 SASE service customers, and over 150 service providers and more than 1,000 VARs as channel partners.

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— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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