Vancouver’s Expeto raises Series B round to drive enterprise mobile networking platform

 The $12 million funding round brings Expeto’s total financing to more than $20 million, which will be used both to expand their innovation and to further develop their Go-to-Market strategy, which has a channel component.

Michael Anderson, Expeto’s CEO

Vancouver-based enterprise mobile networking provider Expeto has announced a $12 million Series B funding round, bringing their total funding to over $20 million. The round was led by Sorenson Capital and included existing investors Evok Innovations, Lavrock Ventures and Mistral Venture Partners. Additional new investors included 5G Open Innovation Lab and Samsung Next. The money will be used to accelerate innovation by adding new capabilities, and enhance their Go-to-Market strategy, particularly by investing in more customer success stories that will convince larger customers to invest in a startup for mission-critical functionality.

“Our differentiation really ties into our market focus,” said Michael Anderson, Expeto’s CEO. “We are a Platform as-a-Service company focused on large businesses, initially in the energy, industry and automotive verticals. The applications we are empowering – like robotics, autonomous vehicles and mission critical sensors – need 5 9s reliability. We are a mission-critical platform, not a tool for a dentist’s office. Companies make big bets on our ability to perform.”

In addition to the mission critical element, Anderson emphasized how Expeto is designed to be critical to enterprise-first needs.

“It’s completely IT-centric and fits into their workflows,” he said. “Since we were originally built for larger businesses, these typically have lots of locations. They may have 4G and 5G, and different local spectrum options, and can often leverage a local mobile network operator. We enable customers to have any mix of public and private networks, all managed from a single pane of glass.” This lets enterprises seamlessly extend private networks with any type of cellular connectivity with single-SIM mobility between public and private instances of the network.

Anderson said that Expeto’s technology blends traditional enterprise mobility with their own innovations.

“It’s the best of both worlds,” he said. “New is our IP around cloud computing, open source, open standards and cloud orchestration.”

Some of the new funds will support extended R&D.

“The funding will be used for the expansion of our innovation,” Anderson indicated. “We already have incumbent support for 5G, 4G, LTE, and we see a super opportunity to bring more Layer 2 and Layer 3 capabilities and IT controls that pivot off of our platforms. That’s the innovation side, although we will also be announcing a new lab.”

The funding for the Go-to-Market enhancements has multiple aspects.

“Within the Go-to-Market, we are very focused on North America and will stay focused on that,” Anderson said. “We want to get more traction on verticals. Our brand is only as good as our last deal, so we are investing in customer success stories that will drive demand that grow our business. CIOs in large businesses don’t want to make a bet on unproven technologies, so these will be the catnip for these customers.”

The channel is a key part of the Go-to-Market strategies, and includes several large players, including those with channels of their own, as well as more traditional channel companies.

Large channel partners include Dell and Avanade, and Expeto has an important relationship with Rogers around Rogers for Business in Canada, which uses Expeto’s platform as an integral part of a business class private wireless network connectivity service.

“Dell is super in enterprise market share, and they have a tremendous amount of partners,” Anderson emphasized. “Avanade, a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture, brings the Accenture channel and the Microsoft channel. But we also reach into local systems integrators. So it’s a channel strategy that has self perpetuating dynamics and which can drive into Industry 4.0 applications.”

Expeto has a channel program in place, but it is used primarily to fully train existing partners rather than entice new ones.

“The efficacy of our channel program is very high right now,” Anderson said. “We have not opened our channel program to the world. We want to make sure partners have reach into specific verticals and have established reputations. We have a very specific process to train partners from end to end.”