Versa Networks just got another $120M to supercharge its SASE

Versa Networks is looking to up its secure access service edge (SASE) game, planning to bring new tools and features to market using a fresh infusion of cash from investors BlackRock and Silicon Valley Bank.

The company raised $120 million in its latest funding round, increasing its total to date to $316 million. It most recently secured $84 million in July 2021.

Kelly Ahuja, CEO of Versa Networks, told FierceTelecom by email Versa will use the money to fuel its global expansion, expand its go-to-market operation, hire more staff and help secure partnerships. The money will also go toward development of new SASE innovations, Ahuja said.

Specifically, co-founder and Chief Development Officer Kumar Mehta said products it plans to bring to market include holistic cloud security, an extension of zero trust network access technology into new areas of enterprise infrastructure such as the LAN, and secure predictive networking.

“We expect AI/ML technologies to make the networks self-healing and secure by automatically foreseeing, troubleshooting and fixing the prioritized issues,” Mehta noted. “Additionally, Explainable AI (XAI) will provide explanations of AI's behavior and the reasoning for its prediction and decisions (e.g., if it marks something as an anomaly). We will bring bleeding edge graph AI-based anomaly detection to our customers.”

On the cloud front, Mehta added “Versa will develop cloud workload protection (CWPP), cloud security posture management (CSPM), cloud native application protection platforms (CNAPP) and SaaS security posture management (SSPM). This provides risk assessment and investigation, as well as governance.”

While many in the telecom industry have warned of coming economic woes, Ahuja said Versa is confident its funding won’t be wasted. He noted that cybersecurity remains important for every enterprise and analysts have predicted continued investment in this area.

Over the past year, Ahuja said Versa has already more than doubled its customer base from the 5,000 clients it mentioned to Fierce in July 2021. Customers include companies across the financial, insurance, oil and gas, technology, retail, logistics and public sector segments.

Ultimately, Versa is hoping the money will help it cement a leadership position in the SASE market. Eventually, it is targeting an IPO, though didn’t say when.