Aryaka, a startup offering cloud-based wide area network optimization has raised $25 million in Series C funding. The round was led by InterWest Partners, with participation from Presidio Ventures, a Sumitomo Corporation Company and included existing investors Nexus Venture Partners, Trinity Ventures and Mohr Davidow Ventures. It brings Aryaka’s total funding to $54 million.
Making wide area networks — the connections between multiple corporate offices or data centers — faster isn’t sexy, but it’s an important element of corporate computing, especially as we move to the cloud and more remote work forces. By taking the traditional WAN optimization game and moving it from boxes located inside corporate offices and data centers into a service comprised of a mesh network of connections, Aryaka has fundamentally changed the business.
Ajit Gupta, founder and CEO of Aryaka, says the money raised will be used for sales and marketing, as the four-year old startup continues to score more customers. The company already counts customers such as Radware and Aruba Networks, and Gupta notes that after the initial trial period that might include two or three locations, many of the customers have surprised him by immediately moving all of their operations onto the network. But it’s competitors are large with companies ranging from Riverbed Networks and Citrix to smaller startups like CloudOpt and Virtela.
Aryaka’s service is comprised of commodity hardware running its WAN optimization software inside carrier-neutral data centers. When a customer signs onto the network, the customer changes the routing setting at its office and sends their traffic to Aryaka’s gear in the data center nearest the office. Once there, the traffic is routed to the closest Aryaka hardware to the destination office.
The design means customers don’t have to buy expensive specialty gear and host it themselves or co-locate it. It also means that as traffic grows Aryaka adds hardware and ports, not the customer — turning yet another element of corporate IT infrastructure into a service. Gupta founded Speedera, a CDN company that had a similar reliance on commodity hardware that resided in carrier-neutral data centers, which then sold it to Akamai. With this much money under his belt it looks like Gupta’s going big with Aryaka.