With, the novel coronavirus marooning people at home for work and play, those “tubes” carrying our data back and forth have become ever more important to our livelihoods.
Today, the company announced that Energy Impact Partners, which has traditionally invested in sustainable energy startups but has recently expanded into software and internet services, is leading a $40 million Series D round into the startup, bringing its total fundraising to date to $125 million. The round was led by Shawn Cherian, a partner at EIP who just joined the firm in June.
Kris Beevers, cofounder and CEO of NS1,said that COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the startups growth the past few months. “For example, a large software customer of ours said that our number two KPI for our coronavirus task force is network performance and saturation as managed by NS1.” Customers have made network management significantly higher priority since degradations in latency and reliability can dramatically limit a service’s viability for stay-at-home workers and consumers
“The quip that I have used a few times recently is digital transformation initiatives have compressed from five or ten years down to months or a year at this point. Everybody’s just having to accelerate all of these things,” Beevers said.
While NS1 had money in the bank and increasing appetite from customers, the company was also starting a fundraise in the middle of a global pandemic. Beevers said that it was hard at first to get momentum. “April was a dead zone,” he said. “All the VCs were sort of turtle up.”
The tide began to turn by early May as VCs got a handle on their portfolios and started to survey where the opportunities were in the market given the lessons of the early days of COVID-19. “We actually started to get a huge amount of inbound interest in early May timeframe,” he said.
“Call it like a true coronavirus fundraise,” Beevers explained. It was “end to end like less than a month getting to know Cherian to term sheet, and all virtual. Partner meeting was all virtual, diligence all virtual. Not a single in-person interaction in the whole fundraising process, and that was the case with everybody else who was involved in the round too, so all the folks that didn’t in the end write the winning term sheet.”