Guest Column | November 8, 2018

What To Keep In Mind When Considering Growth Equity Funding

A conversation with Sabo Taylor-Diab, CTERA Networks

FSMA Funding

CTERA Networks recently announced it secured a $30 million Series D growth equity funding round which will be used for the expansion of CTERA’s global sales and delivery organization, with an emphasis on growth in Asia, and particularly in Southeast Asia and Singapore. In addition, it will be used to power the continued development of CTERA’s patented file services technology.

Growth funds are one of the main types of mutual funds and are more volatile than funds in the value and blend categories. Growth funds are typically split by market capitalization, with funds representing small-cap, mid-cap and large-cap groupings.

What thinking goes into making the decision to go down this path? Software Business Growth recently spoke with Sabo Taylor-Diab, Vice President, Global Marketing at CTERA Networks, to get the answer to that question and more.

Q: What did you learn from your Series A, B, and C rounds that you applied to your Series D round?

Taylor-Diab: The biggest takeaway is the value of a strong partnership with our investors. We’ve got the right team supporting our direction and advising on scaling the company. From a market opportunity standpoint, we’ve seen interest in cloud solutions continually increase over each funding round, all the way to today, where we feel the opportunity for a secure file services provider has never been stronger.

Q: Why did you decide to raise a Series D? What will this funding be used for?

Taylor-Diab: CTERA remains at the forefront of the ongoing digital transformation of legacy storage systems and processes into cloud-powered solutions, and this funding comes at a time of strong momentum and growth in the company. The market opportunity is very strong right now, and we’re positioned well for high-growth. We’re eager to put new investment into our technology, our sales and service delivery organizations, and our expansion into new regions, including Southeast Asia.

Q: What role did your previous investors play in this round

Taylor-Diab: All existing investors participated in this round.

Q: How did you determine how much you wanted to raise with this Series D? Do you recommend software companies try to raise more or less than they think they need?

Taylor-Diab: We looked at various growth metrics that we’d achieved and that we wanted to achieve in the near and long-term. Another part of funding considerations is your current customers, and ensuring they understand that we have the resources to continue to support them if they’re going to invest in our platform. So there are a wide range of factors a company will consider.

Q: What’s next for CTERA?

Taylor-Diab: We’re excited about the future; cloud is fast becoming a strategic and integral part of enterprise IT strategies globally, and we are well-positioned to capture the opportunity. We will look at expanding our business in Asia, leveraging the relationships of our new investors based in Singapore.

Q: What one piece of advice do you have for other tech companies looking to raise money?

Taylor-Diab: We’ve been fortunate to have been backed by world-class investors from the start, and it’s a critical factor in our success. Entrepreneurs looking to build a great company need to put the time into researching and networking with the right partner who will be smart, supportive, and helpful in ways other than cash.