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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Kentik Talks Funding, SaaS & Big Data Network Visibility

Interview Kentik

Since launching its ground-breaking SaaS-based network traffic analysis platform a year ago, Kentik has been making nice progress in the industry.  The company provides Kentik Detect, a cloud-based network visibility and analytics solution that delivers unprecedented depth of insight into any network.  Kentik processes tens of billions of data records per day, equipping service providers and enterprises network operations teams with actionable insights that enable them to make quick, cost-effective decisions.

The company just announced a Series B round of funding -- a nice sum of $23 million.  To dig in a little deeper into that funding news and to find out what they have planned going forward, I spoke with Kentik's co-founder and CEO, Avi Freedman.  

VMblog:  So, tell me a little about Kentik and your exciting news that was just announced.

Avi Freedman:  Kentik Technologies is a network traffic intelligence company that offers a big data-based, SaaS solution. Today we announced that we've raised $23 million in a Series B funding round led by Third Point Ventures, with participation by existing investors August Capital, Data Collective (DCVC), First Round Capital, and Engineering Capital, and new investors Glynn Capital and David Ulevitch.

VMblog:  What are you planning to do with the funds?

Freedman:  The new investment will enable us to meet strong demand for our big data-based network traffic and performance visibility solutions. We plan to use the additional capital to increase headcount in the next year to accelerate product capabilities and expand market reach.

VMblog:  And what is it that motivated your investors this round?

Freedman:  Robert Schwartz of Third Point Ventures saw potential in our exceptional team, high-value technology and resulting aggressive customer adoption of Kentik's offering. Third Point Ventures saw a big gap in network visibility for digital business operations, and Kentik's disruptive big data analytics fills that gap in a way that is far more powerful and easier to use than legacy options.

VMblog:  Explain if you would, how does your technology work?

Freedman:  Kentik ingests network data at Internet scale - hundreds of billions of records per day - in real-time, and allows users to run multi-dimensional queries and receive visualizations in a few seconds, plus perform intelligent baselining for the most accurate anomaly and DDoS detection possible. This allows Kentik to support key network operations and security use cases at greater scale and detail than previously possible.

VMblog:  So, you're both cloud and big data.  What has been your reception among the analyst community?

Freedman:  Jim Duffy, a senior networking analyst with 451 Research has noted that as Kentik is one of the first vendors to bring a native SaaS and big data approach to network visibility, Kentik is already capitalizing on a sizeable market showing a healthy annual growth rate increased customer base and progress in product capabilities since our launch in mid-2015, combined with the infusion of new capital, bodes well for our ability to capitalize on new customer expectations around network monitoring.

VMblog:  What have been some major milestones for the company to date?

Freedman:  Since launching our groundbreaking SaaS-based network traffic analysis platform a year ago, Kentik has earned industry recognition as a 2016 Gartner Cool Vendor for Availability and Performance. Kentik has gained over 60 customers, including some of the world's largest web enterprises such as Box, Yelp, Pandora, Shopify, Dailymotion, Neustar, OpenDNS and Instart Logic.  

We've also attained entry to new markets as one of five global startups chosen by the innovation arms of service provider giants Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Singtel and Telefonica through their Go Ignite alliance.

VMblog:  What has been a key reason behind Kentik's success?

A: Well, one of our VC funders, DCVC noted that we've fundamentally altered the value you can get from network data.  Old methods were so slow and costly that they couldn't solve real-world problems like figuring out what's really behind application performance issues. Our in-depth and speed of insight means that network teams can find and fix issues that APM solutions don't see; security teams can be a step ahead of DDoS attacks instead of always behind the curve; planning teams can improve user experience while reducing costs; and marketing teams can offer customers more insight into their critical traffic than they've ever had before. 

This adds up to a massively compelling ROI for Kentik's customers. Together with Kentik delivering this industry-beating ROI via a defensible big data platform that can ingest and index trillions of packets a day, fully SQL-query-responsive in real-time, made us enthusiastic to far exceed our pro-rata share in this investment round.

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Thank you to Avi Freedman, co-founder and CEO of Kentik, for taking the time to speak with VMblog.com.

Published Thursday, August 04, 2016 9:12 AM by David Marshall
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