SD-WAN vendor raises $21 million, sure to help MSP efforts
Software-defined WAN vendor Bigleaf Networks has raised $21 million in Series B funding, with some of that money aimed at expanding the company’s telecom and newly created MSP channels.
The Lowdown: The funding, which was announced this week, also will go to driving innovation around the 7-year-old company’s SD-WAN platform and expanding its reach into new markets, according to Bigleaf officials.
The Details: Bigleaf Networks looks to differentiate itself in a crowded and fast-growing SD-WAN market by focusing its efforts on midmarket and smaller businesses, which have the same performance and uptime concerns that larger enterprises do, but without the deep IT budgets or expertise. The Beaverton, Oregon-based company’s platform is aimed at helping those customers build connectivity between their businesses and cloud environments, rather than site-to-site networking.
The latest round of funding was led by Updata Partners; other contributors included the Oregon Venture Fund, SeaChange Fund, and existing investors.
The Impact: The channel will be a focus for Bigleaf. The company already had an active telecom agent channel and expanded its partner efforts when it launched its Global MSP Partner Program in June. Bigleaf’s focus is on tens of thousands of MSPs that serve SMBs worldwide. Such MSPs already support such cloud-based technologies as Voice-over-IP (VoIP), Microsoft Office 365, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), all of which need reliable and affordable connectivity that SD-WAN is designed to provide. Bigleaf’s MSP program is aimed at ensuring they have the tools and support they need.
Background: Bigleaf is trying to make its way in an SD-WAN market that includes such heavyweights as Cisco Systems, VMware, and Versa Networks. IDC analysts said the SD-WAN infrastructure space will grow at almost 31% a year, reaching $5.25 billion in 2023.
The Buzz: “These SMB and midsize enterprise businesses are struggling to address their connectivity issues with traditional networking technologies,” said Joel Mulkey, founder and CEO of Bigleaf. “The other solutions available on the market today aren’t effective for many SaaS and cloud apps, require too much management, and aren’t intelligent enough to adapt to the pace of change in today’s businesses. We’ve built a product that has already solved these problems for over 1,000 customers, and because we meet their needs so well, those businesses have rewarded us with a 95% annual renewal rate. We’ve purpose-built Bigleaf for these SMB and midmarket customers and their unique needs. With this funding, we’ll be able to scale our offerings while investing in new features to extend our value for both new and existing customers.”
“Bigleaf serves a $2 billion-plus opportunity in the rapidly evolving networking software market,” said Jon Seeber, general partner at Updata. “Back in 2015, other SD-WAN providers built solutions to address existing market needs. Bigleaf had the foresight to design their SD-WAN for where they saw the market going. Where other offerings focus on traditional networking approaches, Bigleaf has built a product that’s ready for a world in which companies consume technology in the cloud as opposed to data centers and server closets.”
“Bigleaf’s success in the telecom channel was built through our relationships with hundreds of forward-looking partners who could see the growing need for a more stable and reliable connection to cloud technologies,” said Jeff Burchett, Bigleaf’s co-founder and vice president of sales. “MSPs are a natural addition to that channel. Our SD-WAN platform integrates seamlessly into their existing offerings, and the convergence of the telecom and MSP channels opens new offerings and revenue streams to both partner types. With this funding, we’ll be able to extend our reach to more partners in the telecom and MSP channels and enable them with the training and resources they need.”