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Dodo founder’s network analytics investment paying off

Stuart Corner | July 4, 2016
Dodo founder Larry Kestelman is the largest investor in US network analytics startup Saisei

Network analytics startup Saisei, of which Dodo founder Larry Kestelman is the largest shareholder, has been recognised as a 'Big50 Startup' in the US.

The accolade by Startup50 is the latest in a string of awards for the three-year-old Silicon Valley company that has close links to Australia, its CEO and head of sales both based here.

Saisei founder, and now chief strategy officer, Bill Beckett, told Computerworld Australia that the tie-up with Kestelman came as a result of his work for Dodo to help with the sale of the company to M2 Telecommunications (M2 bought Dodo in March 2013 leaving Kestelman with about $100 million in cash and $50m in M2 shares).

"Larry found out what I was doing to develop the product [Saisei]. One day he called me out of the blue and told me he wanted to invest in the company and now he is our largest investor and a great believer in our product," Beckett said.

Saisei announced in February 2014 that it had closed a US$5.6m Series A round of funding that was led by Kestelman's Oxygen Ventures and included participation from several early seed investors.

Kestelman said at the time: "The patented technology that Saisei has developed is truly unique and has the potential to revolutionise the way network operators see and control their networks."

The Dodo founder is now a director of Saisei. Saisei's Australia-based CEO, Boris Rozenvasser, was formerly consumer director at M2 Group. Melbourne-based Julia van Heerden, Dodo's former marketing manager and later GM of consumer marketing at M2, has an advisory COO role at Saisei.

Collects and analyses all network data

According to Beckett, Saisei's main differentiator from other network analytics tools is its ability to gather complete data on traffic to enable very granular monitoring and control of network behaviour without imposing a huge performance overhead or requiring large investment in data analytics capability.

"We differentiate ourselves from any other vendor in the world in that we can do analysis right at the edge," Beckett said.

"The number one value we provide for customers is a network analytics sensor that can go into a network, look at the data and automatically start doing analysis on millions of flows across the network in real time and give them what we call 'big data in a little box'," he said.

"When you plug in our sensor, it starts collection millions of records every second and building user tables and application tables but doesn't stream it out to a server. Our competitors' technologies have sensors that sample the network - typically one in 2000 packets - and send those records to a collector to crunch it, so at best you get only sample data."


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