$60M Series C Funding Round for 5G Technology Innovator Celona

Celona, an enterprise networking business bridging the gap between LTE/5G cellular wireless and enterprise IT infrastructure, has raised $60 million in a Series C fundraising round headed by DigitalBridge Ventures.

Founded in 2019, Celona has positioned itself as a market leader in the worldwide private LTE/5G infrastructure business, which is expected to rise by more than 5 times to about $6 billion by 20241. Celona introduced its fully integrated 5G LAN platform in November 2020, with the goal of assisting enterprises in quickly deploying, operating, and integrating a 5G cellular network into existing infrastructures.

Celona and Verizon Business announced a partnership earlier this month to provide turn-key private networking solutions to accelerate enterprise 5G adoption across a wide range of Celona’s technology use cases, including factory automation, distance learning, real-time inventory management, and supply chain logistics, among others.

All of Celona’s previous investors, including NTTVC (Celona’s Series B lead investor), Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, and Cervin Ventures, participated in the Series C fundraising round. Celona’s total capital investment to date exceeds $100 million as a result of the new funding.

“DigitalBridge’s interest and investment is another strong indicator that 5G technology within the enterprise will transform how organizations do business,” said Rajeev Shah, Co-Founder and CEO of Celona. “With a first mover advantage, a track record of successful execution and the support of world-class investors like DigitalBridge, Celona is uniquely positioned to define and lead the future of private 5G networking.”

DigitalBridge Ventures

Photo Alexandre Villela, SVP at DigitalBridge Ventures
“Digital infrastructure is rapidly evolving to become software-defined, hyper-automated with extensive use of artificial intelligence and truly based on cloud-native technologies and consumption models,” said Alexandre Villela, SVP at DigitalBridge Ventures.

DigitalBridge Ventures’ inaugural investment expands the firm’s investment management platform into high-growth companies in emerging digital infrastructure technologies, a strategic and adjacent space that complements DigitalBridge’s history as a physical layer digital infrastructure investor and operator. DigitalBridge Ventures’ extensive domain expertise, market intelligence, and diverse portfolio would give unique insights and natural strategic possibilities for sourcing, vetting, and adding value to startups in the expanding digital infrastructure technology area.

“DigitalBridge Ventures provides DigitalBridge with a new avenue to stay at the forefront of digital infrastructure by investing in exceptional, disruptive businesses,” said Marc Ganzi, President and CEO at DigitalBridge. “This is a key component of our plan to enter new growth verticals in 2022 as a full-stack digital infrastructure investor and allows us to bring our capabilities and expertise to the software-defined network of the future.”

Ganzi added, “Celona is a pioneer in the private 5G market, providing an industry-leading solution that will advance the future of enterprise networking by delivering the low-latency, high-reliability solutions enterprises are increasingly demanding. We are excited to launch this new investment strategy, leveraging DigitalBridge’s unique resources to identify and partner with emerging, entrepreneurial leaders across the digital infrastructure technology sector.”

Software-Defined, Hyper-Automated

Alexandre Villela, a seasoned venture investor with over 25 years of experience investing in and managing enterprises in the technology and digital infrastructure industries, is leading the DigitalBridge Ventures project.

“Digital infrastructure is rapidly evolving to become software-defined, hyper-automated with extensive use of artificial intelligence and truly based on cloud-native technologies and consumption models,” said Alexandre Villela, Senior Vice President at DigitalBridge Ventures. “At DigitalBridge Ventures, we want to partner with best-of-breed companies like Celona whose deep specialization, scalable business models, and tangible value propositions position them to accelerate innovation across industries.”