DriveNets, a provider of software-based routing solutions to service providers who run them as virtual services on a white box generic architecture, has raised $208 million in Series B fundraising, valuing the firm at more than $1 billion post-money as per lunden TechCrunch.
The financing will expand the business abroad and customize it to other use cases beyond carriers, such as the growing number of larger firms that stream significant amounts of media and hence have some control over their networks.
Future transactions, according to CEO Ido Susan, are still under NDA, but he sees a clear opportunity: “If you want to supply bandwidth with low latency, if you want to offer robust 5G capability or cloud gaming, you need to be close to your end customer.”
DriveNets already had AT&T as a customer before this round, which was a significant vote of confidence in the firm and its virtual network method, but it appears that recent events and the surge in internet activity have prompted other providers to investigate its approach.
“Much before the Covid19 pandemic came, the Internet growth was exceptional and showed an increase at the rate of 30 percent to 40 percent annually,” Susan explained.
DriveNets’ core product is a more flexible and cost-effective virtualized architecture-based replacement for traditional network routers. Routers have traditionally been sold as vertically-integrated hardware solutions, combining software and hardware into a single branded big box, with companies like Cisco and Juniper Networks dominating the market.
These interact with a system called Network Cloud, which in turn runs a networking stack called the DriveNets Operating System. Service providers manage their systems of white boxes and other servers using a virtualized service run over Docker containers and open APIs to automate and configure various network services. It not only gives the white box servers additional capacity flexibility but also allows them to add or remove as needed. It is essentially a system that separates the software from the hardware, allowing for easier hardware expansion and more flexible software control.