Zirra Wisdom
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CTERA, an Israeli cloud storage gateway startup, just landed $25M from Vintage and Bessemer, a duo that has already generated hundreds of millions of dollars from investments in companies, such as Wilocity and Ravello, that made successful exits.

The company, founded by two past executives at SofaWare (sold to CheckPoint Software), is considered today as a market leader in cloud storage gateway, a service that helps distributed enterprises spread around the globe with a combination of file storage, collaboration and data protection.

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CTERA provides network storage combined with replicated off-site cloud storage that allows businesses to launch managed storage, backup, file sharing, and mobile services using a single platform based on the cloud infrastructure of their choice.

Its cloud attached storage is an industry leader. The service allows users to share files by plugging it into a wall and into the network, and then plugging their hard drive into the device. Their mobile service for iOS and Android enables business users to access their files securely, view them, edit them, and store them in the cloud where they can be shared with colleagues, partners, and customers.

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So far, CTERA is deployed by Global 1000 enterprises, as well as some of the world’s top service providers, including Telefonica, France Telecom, Swisscom, and Bezeq International. It has also recently won a tender to provide a private cloud system for file sharing to the US Ministry of Defense.

CTERA has also shown consistent growth year over year since their foundation, and they recently announced revenue growth of 230% during 2015. Experts who spoke with Zirra estimated that the arrival of CTERA's CRO Yochai Rosenblatt from NICE was pivotal as it dramatically improved sales execution. The company also went from a few gigantic deals to many, with medium size customers (in the 100s - 1000s), and reshuffled its sales strategy.

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Following the new round, CTERA now has to work harder to prove it can scale its sales and faces rough competition against other startups and tech giants.

CTERA will also need to scale 4x in revenue (from $25M-$30 to $100M) in order to produce viable IPO potential in major markets and should perhaps consider IPO in secondary markets.

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Industry-wise, CTERA is a leading startup, but it has a narrower offering than its closest established competitors.

Competitors such as Riverbed, StorSimple, and TwinStrata, have been acquired by major companies with ample resources in this field, while the giants are entering the market. Over 150 competitors including Microsoft, HP, Amazon, and Dropbox can be a possible threat to CTERA, or they might choose to acquire it. It is quite possible that CTERA already got, and will continue to get, acquisition offers, creating a strong likelihood it will be purchased in the near future.

But the funding round from last week might increase dramatically CTERA's price to around $300-$500 in the case of an M&A.

Zirra compared CTERA with two other competitors around the same size and positioning: Avere Systems, that raised $72M so far, and Panzera, with $58M in total funding. All of them are employing around 100-150 workers and are growing fast.

While Pittsburgh's Avere serves animation studios such as Dreamworks Studios and Illumination Entertainment, California based Panzura sells cloud gateway services to giants like NBC, Comcast and Motorola. Here's what Zirra's algorithms thought about each company (see below). CTERA got the highest rating out of the three, with 8.5 points out of 10.

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To conclude, after rating CTERA's team, market, product, momentum, execution and vision our algorithm gave CTERA a rating of 8.9 out of 10. Contact Zirra.com for more deep and insightful reports on startups. We're offering custom tailored insights that answer your questions about specific startups, produced via our machine data analysis systems and our human experts.

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