Ottawa-based Corsa completes security pivot with new financing round

Corsa
Corsa Security chief product officer and co-founder Carolyn Raab. File photo

Strapped with fresh financing and with a new CEO in place, a local cybersecurity company is building out a sizeable sales team to take its platform to a series of enterprise customers.

Corsa Security, which changed its name from Corsa Technology earlier this year to reflect a new product focus, announced Wednesday it had raised an additional round of financing to fund the growth of its sales and software development team. The company did not disclose the exact value of the latest funding, which includes existing investor Roadmap Capital and adds to previous rounds of nearly $30 million in total financing.

Corsa began in 2013 with a focus on software-defined networking, but last year announced a pivot into the cybersecurity space. Named one of Techopia’s tech firms to watch in 2019, Corsa now develops a platform that helps enterprise customers such as banks or governments scale up their firewall protection without slowing down their high-capacity networks.

Usually, to inspect traffic flowing into a network, firewalls need to inspect and potentially decrypt packets of information before data can carry on – a process that’s nearly impossible to do at rapid speeds. Corsa gets around this problem through a series of virtual machines that segment and scale the firewall’s filtering process.

“Our platform creates a large enough, virtual, next-generation firewall that literally can do 100 gigabits per second of full traffic inspection, even when the traffic is encrypted,” says chief product officer and co-founder Carolyn Raab.

Raab tells OBJ the latest round of financing will see the company build out a sales team to support its channel partner strategy. Corsa works with security giants that include the likes of Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks to implement its tech, and Raab says the company is looking to add more partners to the roster.

The firm, which has just under 40 employees today, is also investing in the software development side of its operations, as its customers yearn for a cloud-based approach rather than the hardware device which Corsa had previously plugged into clients’ on-premise networks.

“Customers no longer need to care about sourcing hardware and integrating different pieces of the puzzle together ​– it's all taken care of with the platform,” Raab says.

The renewed focus on software isn’t the only recent change at Corsa. At the end of May the firm also added Eduardo Cervantes as its new CEO, replacing co-founder Bruce Gregory, who remains a director with the company.

Raab says that while Gregory’s strengths were in his ability to get the company started, he and the board agreed the company needed someone with “security DNA” to lead it post-pivot.

“Eduardo has that in spades,” Raab says. Over the course of a 30-plus-year career, Cervantes has led cybersecurity companies in California, Spain and the United Kingdom.

While Raab says the company is currently focused on virtual firewalls for the product, she notes there’s potential for uses in scaling web proxies and other network security applications in the future. As the Corsa platform establishes itself as a solid foundation for scaling security, Raab suggests that adding new services to the firm’s repertoire could drive exponential growth for the Ottawa-based company.

Check out Raab's appearance on Techopia Live earlier this year to hear more about the company's niche in the cybersecurity market:

 

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