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Ctera Networks snares $30 million in Series D funding round

Ctera Networks CEO Liran Eshel said his cloud file system company became cash flow positive this year, but it grabbed $30 million in new funding to grow as part of a booming market.

Ctera Networks raised $30 million in Series D growth equity funding to expand its global sales and delivery organization, especially in Southeast Asia and Singapore, and continue development of its enterprise file services technology. The latest financing round boosted the startup’s overall total to $100 million since 2008.

Ctera sells enterprise file software designed to cache active data on premises and shift colder data, in compressed and encrypted form, to object storage located in private and public clouds. In addition to translating data from file-to-object format, the software offers additional capabilities such as authentication, orchestration, synchronization and sharing.

Eshel said profitability is not Ctera’s top priority now. Neither is an IPO, although Eshel said “it’s definitely something we’re looking at.”

“We are investing significantly and will continue to invest in order to get more high growth and reach more customers,” Eshel said. “We could have just remained cash flow positive and be happy with where we are. But we think there’s much more in this market, and there’s much more land grabbing to be done. That’s why we will need to invest.”

Ctera customers have the option to use their own hardware or buy cloud gateway appliances that package the software. Ctera Networks introduced more powerful new HC Series Edge Filers on Dell and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) servers last summer.

“We are able to cover additional use cases and workloads that were traditionally solved by NAS systems. Now you could replace them with a more powerful cloud gateway,” Eshel said, claiming the new HC Series Edge Filers are doing well.

Eshel said Ctera Networks generally sells its software or gateways as part of deals with other infrastructure providers. He said the company often works with vendors such as Cisco Systems, Dell EMC, HPE and IBM.

“The bigger part of our business today comes from these infrastructure providers while we go to the market with complete solutions,” Eshel said. Ctera also has strategic reselling agreements with HPE and IBM.

Ctera Networks claims to have more than doubled its enterprise software subscription revenue during the last year. The company sells to cloud providers and enterprises, and its software is currently deployed in more than 200 private clouds, according to Eshel. Some of Ctera’s largest customers include McDonald’s, WPP, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Eshel said the new funding would finance Ctera’s ongoing work to connect hyper-converged systems to a cloud file system. Ctera’s research and development arm is based in Israel, and the company’s sales headquarters is in New York.

Ctera’s competition in the cloud gateway space includes Nasuni and Panzura, but those vendors have all expanded their product lines with additional capabilities beyond mere file-to-object protocol translation.

Israel-based Red Dot Capital Partners led Ctera’s Series D funding round. Red Dot receives its funding from Temasek Holdings, an investment company owned by the Singapore government. Additional investors included Singtel Innov8, the VC arm of the Singapore-based Singtel Group telecommunications company. Also participating in Ctera’s Series D round were previous investors Benchmark Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Cisco, Venrock, Vintage Investment Partners and Viola Group.

Other recent funding rounds in the cloud market include $94 million for file and object storage vendor Cloudian, $75 million for cloud file sharing and content collaboration specialist Egnyte, $68 million for public cloud storage provider Wasabi Technologies, and $60 million for hybrid cloud computing and data management startup Datrium.

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