Home Venture Capital Dallas Venture Capital Joins $100M Series C Investment in Cloud Networking Pioneer Alkira »...

Dallas Venture Capital Joins $100M Series C Investment in Cloud Networking Pioneer Alkira » Dallas Innovates

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Dallas Venture Capital (DVC) has announced its participation in a $100 million Series C funding round for Alkira, a San Jose-based company revolutionizing cloud networking.

DVC joined investors Tiger Global Management, which led the round, NextEquity Partners, and Geodesic Capital alongside existing backers Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins, and Koch Disruptive Technologies. The investment brings Alkira’s total raise to date to $176 million.

Founded in 2018 by brothers Amir and Atif Khan, Alkira’s on-demand network infrastructure as-a-service platform aims to help enterprises build a global virtualized network with simple tools. The company’s vision is “a network that can take you to and across clouds in minutes instead of months.”

The visionary Khans previously founded Viptela, a pioneer in the multi-billion-dollar SD-WAN market, acquired by Cisco in 2017 for $610 million. The duo unveiled Alkira in 2020, described as a “game-changer” by trade publication Fierce Network as the Khans “tap multi-cloud magic.”

According to Alkira CEO Amir Khan, the startup’s “talented team is the engine” behind its success. The team is currently in Dallas attending the Open Networking User Group Conference (ONUG) alongside several enterprise customers from across the country.

DVC and Alkira at The Henry in Dallas on May 14 (from left): Atif Khan, co-founder and CTO of Alkira; Sujay Chebbi, associate at Dallas Venture Capital; Dayakar Puskoor, founder and managing partner of Dallas Venture Capital; Amir Khan, founder and CEO of Alkira; and Ram Sridharan, business development partner at Dallas Venture Capital. [Photo: DVC]

Meeting enterprise demand

Dayakar Puskoor, founder and managing director of Dallas-based DVC, emphasized the strategic importance of Alkira’s platform. “As enterprise customers increase their cloud adoption, Alkira’s on-demand infrastructure meets those networking infrastructure needs well and can scale along with the enterprise,” the DVC founder told Dallas Innovates.

DVC’s investment philosophy includes actively mentoring and collaborating with the startups it invests in. According to Puskoor, the firm has facilitated “meaningful customer and partner introductions” through its DVC Advantage program to support Alkira’s annual recurring revenue growth.

Investors bullish on Alkira’s potential in cloud and AI era

Rohit Iragavarapu, an investor at Tiger Global, sees increasing “complexity, velocity, and scale requirements” of network infrastructure due to the rise in cloud and AI use.

“We believe Alkira is well positioned to unlock the growing potential of this rapidly evolving space with its visionary approach, market traction, and cutting-edge technology,” Iragavarapu said in a statement.

Avie Tevanian, co-founder and managing director of NextEquity Partners, echoes the sentiment and notes the importance of powerful yet accessible solutions. “Alkira’s on-demand networking infrastructure is exactly that—it delivers tremendous value and simplifies the most difficult network challenges for enterprises,” he said.

Seasoned founders, building a “business enabler”

The company’s name, “Alkira,” is Australian Aboriginal for “blue sky,” symbolizing a fresh start and innovative vision.

Arvind Ayyala, partner, investments at Geodesic Capital, says the company’s “innovative approach” to creating on-demand network infrastructure is “crucial and perfectly aligned with today’s cloud and AI-first era.” It’s a comprehensive solution that addresses both NaaS and cloud networking while integrating security, he says.

“Co-founders Amir Khan and Atif Khan, who successfully built and exited a networking company, have now put together an incredible team with deep technical knowledge and expertise in the networking space,” Ayyala said in the announcement. 

Alkira aims to be a “business enabler” and its platform — managed using the same controls, policies, and security systems network administrators know — is proving its value in demanding industries like entertainment.

John Remo, SVP, global infrastructure and security at Warner Music Group, weighed in with his company’s experience. “The entertainment industry never sleeps, and Warner Music Group has been working with Alkira for years to revolutionize how we manage and protect our network infrastructure,” he said.

Remo says the platform has simplified network management and helped the company confidently prioritize business growth initiatives thanks to the agility and flexibility the service offers.

According to Alkira, customers can build global, secure networks in minutes, without developing new hardware, managing physical circuits, and running software appliances or agents on-site

The Series C investment will fuel the company’s efforts to accelerate innovation and “revolutionize how networks are consumed by enterprises.” Alkira want to help customers “stop looking at networking and security in isolation” with a move to an end-to-end secure network. Other key focus areas include expanding its solution portfolio, delivering new global WAN connectivity models, simplifying customer-partner connections, and preparing for increased AI workloads.

“The explosive growth of cloud applications and A.I. workloads are fueling a surge in demand for agile, secure, scalable cost-efficient networking solutions,” said  Alkira CEO Amir Khan in a statement. “We’re fortunate to have strong partners to help us meet that demand.”

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