Home CompaniesB2B Backed By Y Combinator, This Asheville Startup Looks To Be The “Superhighway” Connecting The Cloud

Backed By Y Combinator, This Asheville Startup Looks To Be The “Superhighway” Connecting The Cloud

by Maija Ehlinger

The Asheville, North Carolina-based team behind Netmaker wants to change the nature of networking. 

Now, this isn’t about improving your small talk abilities. Netmaker is tackling the realities of internet networking, or how devices connect to one another even when they are in different physical locations. 

The team describes what they are building as a “superhighway for secure cloud networks.” It is a layer that connects those various devices in a safer and faster way. 

Alex Feiszli said the idea was born when he connected with co-founder Dillon Carns while they were both employees at IBM. They both recognized that there wasn’t a quality networking layer out there to help cloud-focused companies connect their infrastructure.

“We put it on GitHub and it got pretty popular,” Feiszli added. “Networking definitely isn’t the sexiest topic out there, but it is fundamental to everything we do. The internet is networking. And we’ve come a really long way in the computing space over the past 10 or 15 years, but the networking space has stayed relatively static. We’re missing that glue of a networking layer that can bring these applications together across environments.” 

Netmaker looks to be that glue. 

As a virtual networking solution and open source tool, Netmaker works to better connect different remote environments. That is particularly important in multi-cloud, hybrid cloud, and edge computing. 

To date, Netmaker has gained traction with tech-focused managed service providers (MSPs), IoT startups, and companies using the container management solution Kubernetes.  Although the startup is only a year old, Netmaker has grown its user base to 1,200 organizations and individuals. 

Netmaker is built on the WireGuard, a faster VPN protocol. According to the startup, Netmaker’s solution is 15 times faster than OpenVPN and other popular services available.  

Netmaker went through the accelerator Y Combinator this year, an experience which Feiszli said set the team up for its fundraising efforts. 

The team recently closed a $2.3 million seed round from investors Lytical Ventures, Pioneer Fund, SaxeCap, Uncorrelated Ventures, and Y Combinator. 

Lucas Nelson, a Partner at Lytical Ventures, said he believes “it’s a tool that will be in every IT department’s kit in the coming year.” 

That funding will be used to recruit new talent and continue to build out the paid version of the platform. The team will also soon launch the official “1.0” version of the platform.



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