“The pandemic drove enterprises to accelerate their transition to cloud and saw their workforce become fully distributed. This has led to a dramatic increase in cybersecurity issues — leading businesses to look for new ways to protect and connect their users, networks, and applications,” Ahuja told TechCrunch in an email interview. “We find ourselves in an extremely good place to have the right solution that meets the market needs.”

Apurva Mehta and Kumar Mehta, two brothers, co-founded Versa in 2012. They came from Juniper Networks, where Apurva Mehta was the CTO and chief architect of the mobility business unit and Kumar Mehta was the VP of engineering.

Kelly Ahuja, a Cisco alum, was tapped as Versa’s CEO in 2016.

Versa provides a vast range of subscription-based software services — too many to list here — but positions itself primarily as a secure access service edge (SASE) provider. As described by Gartner in 2019, SASE combines software-based wide area networking and security principles like zero trust into a single service model.

Through partnerships with service providers, Versa connects users to apps in the cloud or data centers with security layered on top — like data loss prevention tools and gateway firewalls. Concretely, the company offers a hardware-agnostic software stack that provides a single interface — via the cloud, on-premises or both — to implement corporate security and networking policies.

“Versa’s portfolio in SASE converges security and networking,” Ahuja said, noting that Versa has a “sizable” team working on machine learning and AI-based malware detection. “Versa has developed a differentiated platform that combines AI and machine learning-powered security services edge and software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solutions that helps customers reduce cybersecurity risk.”

When asked about current clientele, Ahuja said that 625-employee Versa’s solutions have been deployed by “tens of thousands” of enterprises globally. He declined to reveal revenue figures, instead pointing to San Jose-based Versa’s annual contract value, which he says grew 60% over the “past few years.”

“Every industry and business are facing similar macro challenges — high inflation, risk of recession, and supply chain and geopolitical challenges,” Ahuja said. “[But] Versa provides a clear value proposition and ROI of reducing cybersecurity risk.”

Last year, Ahuja told Fierce Telecom’s Linda Hardesty that Versa wasn’t shopping itself. Plans haven’t changed, he says — Ahuja sees the latest financing as setting the firm on a path toward an initial public offering.

Versa raises $120M for its software-defined networking and security stack by Kyle Wiggers originally published on TechCrunch