Cato Networks, an Israeli startup developing a cloud based network to streamline enterprise communications, has secured a $200 million funding round. The investment was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from  existing investors Greylock, Acrew Capital, Coatue, Singtel Innov8, and Shlomo Kramer -- Cato’s CEO and co-founder. The round was completed at a $2.5 billion valuation, coming almost a year after joining the Unicorn club.

Heading to Wall Street

Cato’s enterprise communications network has several key benefits, including significantly reducing an enterprise’s dependence on multiple security products, in addition to saving costs on purchasing, deploying, upgrading and adjusting expenses; Reducing connectivity costs by significantly lowering Internet traffic over the corporate communications network; Providing direct access to the cloud from anywhere without the need for a large number of dedicated on-prem security products; Enforcing a uniformed security policy for all sites, mobile users, and both physical and cloud infrastructure, without the need for customer involvement.

Cato's enterprise network is based on SASE (or Secured Access Service Edge), a network that enables secure remote connection to its infrastructure, without the need to install an agent or rely on a support team. The network is built on Cato’s SPACE technology and can connect the entire enterprise network - physical sites, cloud resources and remote users - using a single global cloud-native platform.

CEO and co-founder Shlomo Kramer tells Geektime that the company, since the beginning of the year, has nearly doubled its revenue from all of 2020 -- totaling 8 digits at least. Kramer proudly tells how the company has grown to more than 400 employees around the globe.

What’s next for Cato? A year ago you became a Unicorn, now you’ve doubled it -- are you planning to remain a private company or are the winds of SPAC and IPO blowing in your hair?

“Our goal is to build a major corporation. Naturally, going public would be  a significant milestone in Cato’s journey, and we’re aiming that way in the next few years.”

Cato Networks was founded in 2015 by Shlomo Kramer and Gur Shatz. Kramer is touted as a data security legend, and is a co-founder of cyber security giants Checkpoint and Imperva. Shatz comes from the cloud-based application security world, previously co-founding Incapsula, where he was also CEO. Cato Networks has raised $530 million to date. The Israeli company will use the newly invested capital to further develop its technology as well as expanding business operations.