HomeData AnalyticsVC briefs: HPE pumps Series C funds into ‘AWS-beating’ software-defined edge stack

VC briefs: HPE pumps Series C funds into ‘AWS-beating’ software-defined edge stack

California based Pensando Systems has received $145 million in Series C, led by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners, to emerge from ‘stealth’ mode to launch its software-defined cloud-to-edge service stack. 

The Series C round takes its total funding to $278 million, after an earlier founder-led series A round of $71 million, and a customer-led series B round of $62 million. The new platform from Pensando offers programmable software-defined cloud, compute, networking, storage and security services wherever data is located. 

The company said its platform delivers “five-to-nine times” improvements in productivity, performance and scale compared with Amazon Web Services Nitro, the leading cloud developer platform. It also claims its system offers enterprise-grade security, end-to-end telemetry, and uses a third of the power of other solutions

The company stated: “Existing enterprises can transform their current infrastructure into a cloud-like environment, eliminating multiple legacy appliances, improving operational simplicity and security while at the same time delivering never before seen functionality, performance, cost, scale and observability.”

It quoted analyst house Gartner, that by 2025 more than 75 per cent of enterprise data will be created and processed at the edge, as 5G, IoT, and AI change how enterprises “from manufacturing to warehouses and logistics” deliver services to end users. This will drive data centres to deploy compute power and cloud services closer to the edge.

Prem Jain, chief executive at Pensando, said: “Advances in emerging technologies such as 5G, IoT, and AI are changing not just how we consume data but where we consume it. Computing is migrating to where the data is. New deployment models driven by this shift are no longer just about moving workloads to the cloud but moving scalable services closer to data, regardless of where it resides. 

“This tectonic change is breaking existing infrastructure and requires an entirely new, future-proof architecture designed for the next generation of the cloud. Pensando is the answer: we are democratising the cloud with the first software-defined, edge-accelerated, always secure and visible platform that will run in any environment.”

The company’s Naples-branded distributed services card (DSC) can be installed in standard servers to deliver cloud, compute, networking, storage and security functions, eliminating discrete appliances in the data center. The result is “customisable distributed infrastructure” and linear “edge-acceleration, wherever data exists”.

The DSC operates at 100G wire-speed with high-performance, low-latency, low-jitter, with scalability for the largest cloud providers. It offers a high number of simultaneous services and the ability to chain disparate services together in any order, without loss of performance and with negligible jitter.

Its Venice-branded centralised policy and services controller enables distribution of all infrastructure service policies to all Naples nodes, across the stack. Venice also handles lifecycle management, such as deploying in-service software upgrades.

John Chambers, chairman of Pensando, chief executive at JC2 Ventures, and former chief executive at Cisco Systems, commented: “The team has worked together for more than 25 years… [with a] track record of disruptive innovation. We are enabling a broad range of ecosystem partners and customers to deploy cloud architectures that give the ability to compete in the next big market transition as the world goes multi-cloud. It’s no wonder that Pensando is coming out of the gate with a marquee list of investors, partners, and customers. This team is an execution machine that has never missed.”

HPE and Goldman Sachs were quoted as customers in its press statement. 

Antonio Neri, president and chief executive at HPE, said: “The future belongs to those who are first to harness the power of data. The combination of HPE software defined compute, storage, networking, security services with Pensando technology will equip HPE’s customers with ways to act fast on a continuous stream of data that grows richer every day.”

Joshua Matheus, managing director at Goldman Sachs, said: “Goldman Sachs is significantly simplifying our data center architecture and reducing expenses with Pensando. It allows us to secure our east-west data center traffic while ensuring compliance, and at the same time, with improved telemetry, we reduce our time-to-problem resolution from hours to minutes.”

Israeli cybersecurity firm ShieldIOT raises $3.6 million

Meanwhile, in other venture capital investments in the IoT space, Israel-based ShieldIOT, an IoT security company, has raised $3.6 million in a seed funding round led by innogy Innovation Hub, the venture arm of German energy firm innogy. Janvest Capital Partners, Danmar Capital, Minvest and a number of private investors also stumped up. 

ShieldIOT’s AI-based software security platform offers a way for service providers and utilities to secure and manage the security of any IoT device, application, or network, across different verticals, while also generating new revenue streams, the company said.

Udi Solomon, chief executive and co-founder at ShieldIOT, said: “All IoT devices connect to the network centre either directly, for example over cellular networks, or indirectly via a dedicated gateway. ShieldIOT’s secures both channels while delivering up to 20 times reduction in false alarms, and without the need for any network changes or costly hard-to-find security expertise.”

Christof Kortz, director of strategic cyber security venturing at the innogy Innovation Hub, explained: “IoT is going to shape the future of many industries, with the energy system chief amongst them. The IoT-enabled energy system will face new multi-layered and complex security challenges. In ShieldIOT, we have found a company with exciting technology that is designed to secure any IoT device in any topology at scale.”

China puts $50m into Silicon Valley auto-driving startup

Elsewhere, another Silicon Valley IoT startup, this time focused on self-driving vehicles, has raised $50 million in a pre-Series A funding round. DeepRoute, specializing in Level 4 autonomous driving solutions, raised funds from a number of China-based investors, including Fosun RZ Capital, GoldenSand Capital, Yunqi Partners, and Ventech China.

DeepRoute has research centers in Shenzhen, Beijing and Silicon Valley. The company claims to have worked “alongside some of the world’s leading original equipment manufacturers” in the automotive industry. It said it has plans in place to “support” vehicle platooning technology to leading manufacturers, and also provide a self-driving robo-taxi service during an international sporting event.

Shuang Gao, chief operating officer at DeepRoute, said: “These funds will help further the advancement of autonomous vehicles on our roads. Our ongoing research and development of industry technologies will continue to prioritize the safety and security of the public as we strive to bring full vehicle autonomy worldwide.”

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