Cloud-native storage startup Robin.io has gained $38m in VC funding to continue its push into enterprise storage and 5G edge setup automation.
Robin.io is different from other players punting storage software for Kubernetes-orchestrated containers, as it provides its app-aware Cloud-Native Storage (CNS) packaged up a Cloud-Native Platform (CNP) and integrated with networking functionality for telcos. It has also added bare metal server management and edge network setup orchestration (MDCAP) for 5G radio area network (RAN) operators.
Partha Seetala, founder and CEO at Robin.io, provided an announcement quote: “The accelerating adoption of Kubernetes and cloud-native technologies, as well as the accelerating pace of global 5G and edge rollouts, has provided the backdrop for Robin’s competitive success in the past year. … Robin.io … will continue to invest in product leadership and hire talent across sales, engineering and tech support functions. This Series C round is perfectly timed to support these goals.”
This C-round was led by Rakuten Capital, joined by Clear Ventures, Emory University, Raine Next-Gen Communications and current investors. It brings the total capital raised by Robin.io to $86m. Rakuten is heavily involved in 5G activities. It has a cloud-native 4G/5G network and is co-developing a 5G core system with NEC.
Bookings growth at Robin has surged 681 per cent in its current quarter from a year ago, and it has signed 32 new partnerships during the past year. One of those partnerships is with Quanta Cloud Technology (QCT), a global data centre solution provider, through which the companies will jointly offer solutions to reduce costs, complexities and deployment times for mobile network operators (MNOs) and communication service providers (CSPs) rolling out 5G networks and services.
Robin’s headcount has risen by 57 per cent during the year, across four countries. The new cash will help with product development and business infrastructure expansion — even more partnerships possibly.
A ReTHINK RAN research document, Patterns of migration to the 5G core, states: “The 5G core will enable capabilities such as ultra-low latency and will be implemented as microservices, which allow network resources to be scaled up and down on-demand to suit the needs of individual services or users, and enables the operator to create virtual ‘slices’ of the network, optimised for the needs of a particular sector, enterprise or use case.“
In other words, the 5G network software will be based on containerisation technology.
Robin says MDCAP automates healing and scaling in 5G deployments and enables RAN-as-a-Service, Core-as-a-Service, BareMetal-as-a-Service and a MOPs Manager that automates thousands of tasks with one API call.
We think Robin.io has built a massive telco 5G wireless area network set-up automation infrastructure (MDCAP) from its base of cloud-native storage, giving it a near-impregnable moat against competitors providing Kubernetes storage to 5G-adopting telcos.
It’s this position and momentum that’s exciting Rakuten Capital and the other VCs.