First, let’s get to the news of the day: CTERA is delighted to announce that it has closed a $25M funding round today; bringing our total amount of investment to $70M to date. This new investment is led by Bessemer Venture Partners, who is joined by Cisco and new CTERA investor – Vintage Investment Partners. The round is a terrific validation of our corporate vision and execution, and a reminder that CTERA is fortunate to work with world-class, top-tier investors who appreciate the advancements in enterprise security and file services modernization that CTERA is pioneering. With this additional $25M, CTERA has in essence “powered up” its global organization at a time when evolving enterprise requirements are converging with CTERA’s product capabilities. Let’s explore:
Why funding? Why now?
CTERA has been growing at a very healthy clip as we help more and more organizations modernize their approach to file security, file sharing and data protection. Our list of major enterprise customer deployments is enough to make any IT startup envious: the US Dept. of Defense, Santander, Live Nation, WPP, the State of Texas, the Carlyle Group… just to name a few. Today, CTERA’s platform powers well in excess of 30,000 businesses. Our core enterprise business is in a state of hyper-growth after increasing over 200% year over year. While the business is growing at a very healthy pace, we’ve made the decision to ‘power up’ the sales execution and solution delivery engine to tackle a unique market opportunity that CTERA is well poised to lead in.
It’s all about Data Infrastructure Modernization.
Enter Gartner: EFSS. Data Infrastructure Modernization. The IT Marketclock.
After being named a Gartner Cool Vendor in 2013, CTERA has worked extensively with Gartner analysts to convey our vision for secure and accelerated enterprise file services. In the past 12 months, CTERA was referenced over 25 times in market reports. Across them, a unifying theme has developed that we believe both perfectly crystallizes CTERA’s opportunity and unique value proposition in one fell swoop: Data Infrastructure Modernization.
Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) is a central Asset Class in this report, one which Gartner believes is entering a phase of “early mainstream”. As organizations look toward cloud infrastructures and cloud-oriented solutions, many end-user digital workplace architects have identified the convergence opportunity associated with combining legacy and modern forms of file sharing tools with a unified layer of data protection. Gartner calls this evolution out specifically in the IT Market Clock for Digital Workplaces, 2016 where CTERA is referenced as one of the 10 elite “Selected Vendors” that Gartner recommends to consider when evaluating your Enterprise File Sharing Priorities. To quote Monica Basso, Research Vice President:
“EFSS destination vendors are evolving in two different directions:
- Data infrastructure modernization (that is, enterprise systems/resources integration and management with support for federation, e-discovery, data governance and security)
- Modern content collaboration and business enablement”
While the market for content collaboration and business enablement is being dominated and commoditized by many of the world’s biggest productivity players (Microsoft, Google, Dropbox), data infrastructure modernization is just now emerging as a market segment that is challenging legacy IT players. No other organization can address three key modernization market requirements as CTERA can with its Enterprise File Services Platform:
1) CTERA enables organizations to modernize their file sharing and data protection agenda with one platform that can be securely deployed from behind their firewall on their private or public cloud of choice – thereby avoiding all of the data privacy and security complications that are otherwise associated with public cloud SaaS solutions.
With the recent hack of Dropbox, we’re now hearing from many potential customers about why a private solution can help them minimize the relative exposure of their data, metadata, security and identity management.
2) CTERA’s platform unifies many use cases – endpoint file sharing, office file sharing, endpoint data protection, office data protection and cloud data protection – via one platform that simplifies file access for users, reduces IT management complexity and serves as a central data governance control point for the enterprise.
Since ransomware has evolved into a global IT epidemic in 2016, many customers are now re-evaluating a balanced mix of file sharing and system backup tools to strike the right balance between “event based” data protection and “interval-based” data protection where CTERA has a unique product mix.
3) Finally, CTERA uniquely accelerates cloud-based file sharing and data protection to edge of the network to enable office users to access files at LAN speeds and stay online and productive even when the WAN is not available. We are continually seeing more and more projects that combine CTERA cloud storage gateways with CTERA’s file sharing tools to build a natural and evolutionary bridge to workplace and infrastructure modernization (vs. a brute force approach).
In summary, we couldn’t be happier to see the analyst community’s view of the market converge with the CTERA vision for data infrastructure modernization, a vision already adopted by CTERA’s customers, partners and investors. While topics of unified file services, remote storage acceleration, cloud infrastructure and data privacy are hardly new; never has one platform been able to address these concepts at the same time, until now.
What’s most exciting… CTERA’s customers and partners will always drive us forward, and this added investment will enable us to race ahead of demand and the CTERA adoption curve as data infrastructure modernization becomes a mainstream market segment and as file security, protection and local acceleration become increasingly hot topics.