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Edge computing orchestration startup Zededa raises $12.5M

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Edge virtualization startup Zededa today announced it has raised $12.5 million in an oversubscribed extension to its series A round. The company says the funding will be used to bolster its customer acquisition efforts as it continues to expand the size of its workforce.

Global internet of things (IoT) revenue hit an estimated $1.7 trillion in 2019, when the number of edge devices connected to the internet exceeded 23 billion, according to CB Insights. But despite the industry’s growth, not all organizations think they’re ready for it. In a recent Kaspersky Lab survey, 54% said the risks associated with connectivity and integration of IoT ecosystems remained a significant blocker.

Zededa was cofounded in 2016 by Erik Nordmark, Roman Shaposhnik, Said Ouissal, and Vijay Tapaskar to solve the edge computing adoption challenges plaguing the enterprise. Based in Santa Clara, California and India, the company’s hardware- and cloud-agnostic software enables app deployment over most types of edge networks.

“Edge computing is critical in not just driving efficiencies that may lead to cost savings, but more importantly in building new business models and creating new customer experiences,” Ouissal told VentureBeat via email. “Organizations are quickly identifying new use cases where edge computing will provide tangible benefits, such as remote orchestration to reduce the need for employees to travel to edge locations, self-service kiosks, and computer vision to maintain safe indoor experiences [during the pandemic].”

Zededa says its centralized, subscription-based technology is built on open standards and plays nicely with devices from Advantech, Lanner, SuperMicro, Scalys, and other vendors. It supports Docker containers, Kubernetes clusters, and virtual machines and works in concert with Eve, a bare-metal Linux-based operating system designed for edge computing that counts among its contributors Intel and General Electric.

Leveraging apps, their dependencies, and core operating system bits that periodically communicate with the cloud, Zededa’s platform attempts to ensure edge installations behave as they should, according to a spokesperson. “Zededa [addresses] the complexity of today’s solutions through an open and purpose-built IoT edge orchestration framework that breaks down silos and delivers the agility customers need to evolve their connected operations with a multicloud strategy,” they said.

There’s an abundance of tools promising to simplify IoT analytics and management at the edge, including Google’s Cloud IoT Edge, Amazon’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) IoT, Microsoft’s Azure Sphere, and Baidu’s OpenEdge. But Zededa asserts that it has an advantage in the open source nature of its approach.

“We made our product generally available earlier this year in January, after nearly a year of working with a very select group of advanced and leading customers and partners to build and refine the product features. Today we have over a dozen paying customers, including several Fortune 500 companies spread across verticals like manufacturing, oil and gas, and renewable energy, telco, and health care,” Ouissal said. “We anticipate bringing on several new high-profile customers this year and are excited to see customers begin to scale their deployments. We expect to see the number of edge nodes under management more than triple by the middle of 2021 from the beginning of the year.”

Zededa recently launched a marketplace hosting data ingestion, AI and machine learning, networking, and security apps and joined the Linux Foundation’s EdgeX Foundry, an ongoing vendor-neutral open source IoT project. Zededa is also part of the Foundation’s LF Edge umbrella organization, where it’s incubating Eve and the telecom-oriented Akraino Edge Stack.

New strategic investors Rockwell Automation, Juniper Networks, and EDF North America Ventures participated in Zededa’s expanded round along with investors Almaz Capital, Energize Ventures, Lux Capital and HBAM. It brings the company’s total raised to date to $28.5 million.

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