ZEDEDA CEO and Founder reflects on a recent successful capital funding round and the road ahead
Today is an exciting day for ZEDEDA—a time to not only celebrate our most recent funding achievement, but also a time to reflect on how we as a company and as a market have arrived at this point. Our recent closing of $72 million in growth capital is a validation that we’ve reached a significant milestone as a company, but more importantly, it illustrates that the edge computing market has reached another level of maturity. When we closed $26 million in Series B funding 18 months ago and, at that time, doubled the total investment in ZEDEDA, the global edge computing market was heading into a period of tremendous growth with the IDC predicting $176 billion in edge computing spending in 2022. Since then, the market has seen a continued explosive expansion. IDC estimated up to $208 billion in expenditure on edge computing by the close of 2023 and now predicts edge computing spending will reach $317 billion by 2026—representing 15% CAGR—making it one of the fastest growing markets and trends in our industry. I am proud and confident in saying that ZEDEDA is playing an important role in that growth.
Charting ZEDEDA’s progress and peering into the future
When I look back to the very early days of ZEDEDA and the market, I’m reminded of all that our small team accomplished at that time by focusing first on listening and learning from our customers, partners, and the many people we encountered at countless industry events, all of whom we owe a debt of gratitude. Our goal in those early days was to learn as much about our customers’ needs as possible to ensure we were building the right product and right solution for many other future customers across many verticals. Since the commercial launch of our product in late 2020, we’ve been able to grow our business exponentially every year, and we’ve provided edge computing orchestration and management solutions to several Fortune 500 to Fortune 50 companies along the way.
While our commercial success has been incredibly exciting, what I find even more inspiring is how we have become an integral part of helping our customers successfully realize their strategic business goals.
For instance, BOBST, one of the world’s leading suppliers of equipment and services to the packing industry, uses ZEDEDA to orchestrate and manage its entire device fleet’s full stack, providing them with unprecedented agility and reliability to make their edge software smarter and better over time, anywhere in the world.
PV Hardware, one of the largest solar tracker manufacturers in the world, reduced its overall device provisioning and field installation time by up to 75% and established a future-proof foundation to offer additional value-added services to its customers with ZEDEDA, in turn reducing the cost of producing clean renewable energy and accelerating the energy transition.
Global technology, software, and automation leader Emerson integrated ZEDEDA’s edge management and orchestration solution into its DeltaV™ automation system, which enabled its customers to gather real-time production insights; for instance, in pharmaceutics manufacturing, thereby reducing the time, cost and power consumption to develop and produce new medicines.
Rockwell Automation incorporated ZEDEDA into its FactoryTalk® Edge™ Manager offering, which enables its users to manage edge devices, orchestrate applications, and improve access to manufacturing data, reducing cost and waste of manufacturing goods.
And there are many more companies that ZEDEDA has helped to innovate at the edge or solve common and complex edge challenges that, in turn, have profound business impacts. Edge computing use cases continue to expand throughout our customer base, with many companies that started with a single edge seeing the value of edge computing and realizing it can be applied to additional business areas across their companies. One notable example includes one of the largest global automobile manufacturers who has standardized on ZEDEDA to modernize 70,000 dealerships, manufacturing facilities, and service centers across 153 countries.
While edge computing has grown rapidly over the last few years, the explosion of AI and all the great innovations that it brings have supercharged it. After all, edge computing is about processing data close to the source at the edge of the network, and AI is the best way to analyze that data. We’re seeing edge AI-driven results leading to even faster adoption of edge computing, and enabling our customers with real-time decision making that leads to safer working environments, on-the-fly optimization, and increased production. The two technologies have evolved alongside each other and fit together hand in glove, creating significant impact across industries. As a result, we have seen a dramatic acceleration of edge computing and AI rollouts that have fueled our growth dramatically over the last 12 months.
When I think about where we’re headed from here, it brings the Gold Rush era to mind. During this time in history, the people who made the money weren’t those who were finding gold, but rather those who were selling picks and shovels. While it would not do justice to compare ZEDEDA to a pick-and-shovel business, we are indeed providing the foundational technology and architecture our customers need to deploy and manage their edge AI & computing infrastructure, and this last funding round will enable us to truly power the next era of computing.
We believe that, inevitably, any company with distributed operations will need edge AI & computing and, consequently, the edge orchestration and management products and services that ZEDEDA provides. The customers that were successful on this journey early on realized that introducing edge computing to their digital transformation, AI, and data analytics projects, like cloud, required an architectural approach. By helping them meticulously define the edge architecture requirements, carefully balancing security, agility, supportability, extensibility and scalability, they are able to build the right stack that delivers on business needs, with edge orchestration and management as a starting point, rather than an afterthought. We’ve been truly excited and proud to partner with these customers, backed by more than seven years of industry learning, along with numerous proof-positive customer successes.
We are building the leading infrastructure software company for edge AI & computing and, in many ways, we’re just getting started. It’s still very early days in the edge computing market, but what we’re seeing is ubiquitous. Edge computing touches many different verticals and customers, and we’re transforming their businesses. There are companies today that can’t sell cars without edge computing. There are companies that can’t execute on improving container shipping without edge computing. There are companies that can’t transition to renewable or green energy without edge computing. These aren’t small widgets or data center problems; they are big problems we’re helping companies to solve, and our business results reflect this. We think these signs, among others, are indicative of the type of company we are building and the type of customers we can serve with our product, and our recent investors agree.
The impact of edge computing has also been recognized by several of ZEDEDA’s customers, who also made the decision to reinvest during this Series C round. This makes a very strong statement about the relationships we’ve built with our customers and what we’ve enabled our customers to achieve in their businesses, but it also signifies that they are thinking strategically about the future of edge computing, and they trust us and the direction we’re headed in enough to help us achieve our long-term objectives. This is among our proudest achievements.
From growth engine to industry leader: final thoughts on the road ahead
As one of the first—if not the first—edge companies to reach this stage of maturity as a company, we’ve now raised the money that gives us the ability to think long-term.
We believe this growth capital will push us to the next phase in edge AI & computing and enable us to achieve our business goals 10-fold. We’re looking forward to 10x the revenue and 10x the number of nodes under management, and all of this has become very realistic and possible with this funding round.
We’re also looking forward to doubling down on the edge application services vision we announced last summer by introducing even more edge services to our customers, because the feedback we’re getting from them is that our services, like ZEDEDA Edge Kubernetes and ZEDEDA Edge Access, are really making their lives easier at the edge.
Finally, we continue to grow our team to realize our vision, so if you’re interested in being a part of something big, working with an amazing and talented group of individuals, and helping change the world for the good, please head to our careers page!