Startup DriveNets Ltd., which makes software that telecommunications carriers use to manage their network infrastructure, today announced that it has closed a $262 million funding round led by D2 Investments.

According to DriveNets, the Series C round has “considerably” increased its valuation. The startup received a valuation of more than $1 billion after its previous $202 million raise last January.

Israel-based DriveNets provides a software platform called the Network Cloud that carriers use to manage their network infrastructure. The platform includes two main components: the DriveNets Network Operating System, or DNOS, and the DriveNets Orchestrator.

DNOS is a Linux-based operating system that can manage the core tasks involved in routing data traffic between different parts of a carrier’s infrastructure. It also helps with a number of related tasks. According to DriveNets, DNOS offers features that reduce the risk of outages and make it easier to work with hardware resources such as network processing units, a type of specialized chip used to process network traffic.

The other core component of the startup’s platform is the DriveNets Orchestrator. It provides analytics features that enable carriers to detect and troubleshoot technical issues in their networks. According to DriveNets, the software performs some troubleshooting tasks automatically. It includes a failover tool that can restore network operations after an outage. 

Alongside its troubleshooting features, DriveNets Orchestrator includes a second set of capabilities designed to streamline network upgrades. The software automates several of the tasks involved in adding new network devices to a carrier’s infrastructure. Moreover, it promises to ease the task of downloading and implementing firmware updates.

For carriers with requirements that extend beyond DriveNets’ core feature set, the startup provides the ability to run applications from third-party suppliers on its DNOS operating system. Carriers can deploy third-party applications in the form of software containers. From there, they can use the DriveNets Orchestrator to manage those applications and download updates when they become available.

Carriers historically built their networks using proprietary hardware, or equipment that is relatively easy to manage but doesn’t support many software products and often carries a significant price tag. To reduce costs, carriers are increasingly replacing proprietary hardware with commodity hardware. Commodity network equipment is more cost-efficient than the proprietary kind, but often provides a limited feature set, which makes managing it difficult.

DriveNets says that its platform’s network management features make it easier for carriers to deploy cost-efficient commodity equipment in their networks. The result, according to the startup, is a reduction in network infrastructure expenses.

“DriveNets’ approach of building networks like cloud allows telecom providers to take advantage of technological efficiencies available to cloud hyperscalers,” said founder and Chief Executive Officer Ido Susan. “This latest round of investment demonstrates our investors and customers’ confidence in us and will enable us to expand the value and global operational support we offer them.”

DriveNets says it’s working with nearly 100 customers and claims to have doubled bookings over the past year, though the startup didn’t share absolute numbers. DriveNets estimates that, thanks to increased customer adoption, the amount of network traffic processed with the help of its platform has increased by a factor of 10 since its previous funding round last year.

The startup will use its latest $262 million round to develop new offerings, expand its support team and invest in business growth initiatives. 

Photo: Unsplash

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