Why We Invested in ZEDEDA

February 25, 2018

Energize Ventures is proud to announce that we co-led a $16M Series A investment in ZEDEDA, the leader in edge virtualization software. ZEDEDA is building an open platform to remotely and securely manage edge devices, enabling energy and industrial customers to more efficiently deploy digital applications on distributed assets. Energize co-led the round along with Lux Capital, with whom we have partnered previously on Nozomi Networks. Existing investors including Wild West Capital, Almaz Capital, Barton Capital, and industry veteran Ed Zander all participated in this round as well. Juan Muldoon from Energize is joining the board of directors alongside Bilal Zuberi (Lux), Kevin DeNuccio (Wild West Capital), and Said Ouissal (ZEDEDA founder and CEO).

The Growth of Edge Analytics

From wind turbines and solar inverters to “smart” nodes in manufacturing and transportation, connected assets operating at the enterprise edge are estimated to reach more than 200 billion by 2020[1]. Energy and industry enterprises dealing with multiple distributed assets need the ability to operate with low latency, low bandwidth, and high security. To harness the value of digitization, enterprises are deploying more data analytics running at the “edge”.

Challenges at scale

Advances in computing and analytics are laying the groundwork for digitizing industrial operations in transformative ways. However, as most companies going through the digital journey can attest, deploying and managing analytics on distributed assets creates new challenges. Industrial IoT deployments are complex, involving multiple hardware, software, networks, cloud applications and providers that require many touchpoints across an organization. Two key elements — IT and OT (Information Technology and Operations Technology) — must align and work together with business units. Furthermore, more hardware and more analytics packages tend to complicate the equation with closed systems that don’t communicate with each other.

Imagine having to carry 5 phones, one each to take a call, tell the time, count your steps, play your music, and browse the internet. You would hate having 5 phones in your pocket! Well, industrial firms with distributed assets have MANY types of equipment in the field, and each asset has (at least) 5 phones, all with different software that won’t talk to other applications or assets. This problem grows as the number of endpoints and analytics increases. Customers — both IT and OT departments — need a more centralized and streamlined way to manage digital tools.

ZEDEDA: the missing connective layer

ZEDEDA is building the platform to securely and efficiently manage applications at the edge in a simple, scalable way. This “operating system” enables enterprise users to securely deploy any application, on any hardware, over any network, at the edge. Importantly, ZEDEDA’s “open platform” approach (versus being “locked in” to OEM’s limited options) opens the door for further innovation and flexibility from the edge ecosystem. While “Edge Analytics” is a crowded space, ZEDEDA’s product and vision are a unique differentiator: the ability to fill the gap between the hardware layer, the cloud layer, and the analytics layer and deliver integrated capabilities across networking, application management, and security stand out.

Why does this matter? ZEDEDA helps customers save money and more efficiently operate full blown digital operations. This connective tissue is a missing layer between edge hardware and software, and it’s required to accelerate digitization initiatives. A single point of connection and management can reduce hardware redundancy, lower capital expenses, and streamline internal operations across both IT and OT.

Beyond the visionary platform and technology, the strength of ZEDEDA’s team cemented our conviction. Co-founders Said, Erik, Vijay, and Roman bring a depth of complementary experiences across networking, security, and application management. They have built a cohesive team, solved real customer issues, and enabled more integrated, holistic, and scalable industrial IoT deployments. We’re excited about what this next chapter brings.

We are thrilled to welcome Said and the rest of the ZEDEDA team to the Energize Ventures family.

[1] Source: Gartner report on Industrial IoT, 2018