Corsa Technology lands $16.5 million in Series B funding

Ottawa-based Corsa Technology announced Friday it has secured $16.5 million in Series B financing that CEO Bruce Gregory said puts the company on “really solid footing for growth for the next couple years.”

This latest round was led by Toronto’s Roadmap Capital and included existing investors Celtic House Venture Partners, BDC Ventures and a strategic technology company.

Corsa, founded two years ago, develops software-designed networking hardware, a new field Mr. Gregory said is growing quickly.

The rapid growth of data traffic has put a strain on traditional routers and switches, Mr. Gregory said, and it is becoming too expensive to continue building those types of networks.

He said software-defined networking provides a “more global view of the network so that we can be much more efficient in allocating network resources and bringing services up and taking services down across the network.”

Corsa saw the need for this two years ago, he said, when the company originally secured $4 million in Series A financing.

“It’s turned out that the problem is unfolding exactly as we saw,” Mr. Gregory said, adding the company is now in a really “sweet spot.”

That means Corsa already has the right technology in place. More importantly, it has the endorsement of satisfied customers, which made this round of financing a little bit easier, he said.

“We can actually show how (the technology) is being used and where it’s being used.”

Mr. Gregory said 2015 will be a big commercialization year for the company and to that end, the newfound money will go toward doubling the size of the company, which currently has 30 employees at its March Road office.

“Ottawa is a great place to be building a company like this,” he said. “We have a really deep pool of engineering talent and product development talent in Ottawa, and then we’ll bolster the sales and marketing team as well.”

Corsa plans to open a sales and marketing office in the United States at some point in the next year, but it’s not known exactly where that will be yet.

“We sell globally, so we’re working with people in Europe, people in Asia, people in South America, and so we’ll grow intelligently as the business develops, but we’re going to end up with sales and marketing offices in a lot of different geographies,” Mr. Gregory said.

The home base will stay in Ottawa, although Mr. Gregory said a move to a bigger office is also in the works for later this year.

“We’re going to have to pick up more space. We’re kind of bursting at the seams,” he said, adding the company will remain in Kanata North.

Mr. Gregory said Corsa has a great opportunity to establish itself as a top vendor in software-defined networking. That is what the company was created to do, as opposed to some of the more traditional vendors like the Ciscos, Junipers and Alcatels of the world.

“Those are really strong companies, and they’re all well-managed, but they have the classic innovator’s dilemma,” he said. “This is a very, very disruptive technology and it will to some degree cannabilize their current product lines. If we move quickly and establish ourselves quickly, we’ll have a really solid footprint, and we’ll be able to grow significant business.”