When I shared some stats earlier this year about our terrific 2012 growth, we already had big plans in the works to take OpenDNS to new heights. This morning we made two big announcements about how we’ll make it happen. First, we announced that Stefan Dyckerhoff, former GM/EVP at Juniper Networks (employee #33!) and new managing director at Sutter Hill Ventures has joined our board of directors. Second, we announced that in conjunction with Stefan joining our board, OpenDNS has closed a round of funding with Sutter Hill Ventures.

Stefan and I met a couple years ago at the World Economic Forum in Davos when OpenDNS was recognized as a Technology Pioneer. He’s an expert in the security and networking space and a seasoned executive and company builder. With Stefan’s guidance, we’ll be able to efficiently and thoughtfully scale our team, processes and infrastructure while building our world-class security company and maintaining the engine of innovation that has been our hallmark.

And the money? Well, having more money will let us add more datacenters, faster, and allow us to increase our overall visibility as a company. To date, our spending has come primarily from the cash we generate from our business. But we’ve been missing out on the opportunities in front of us recently because we didn’t have the cash to capitalize on them. Having some extra cash on hand will help us take advantage of those opportunities when they come up.

Why security?

We have always sat at a unique intersection on the Internet, helping people with navigation, access, and security. So while we’ve considered doing things in the search space, or in the domain name space, it’s the security opportunity that gets us the most excited. Here’s why:

These days, people work wherever they need to get work done, use all kinds of new devices, and access cloud applications without ever using a VPN back to their office HQ. Today’s traditional security appliance approach of “build a firewall around the corporate network” fails to scale or address the reality of how employees actually work today. These changes are disruptive to the security industry and they leave most companies vulnerable to real and serious security threats. In other words, these changes have left IT without visibility, users unprotected, and devices unsecured.

In a world where enterprise applications like Box, Salesforce, NetSuite, and Workday are hosted in the cloud, someone needs to create the network security platform that gives workers a secure conduit to the Internet. And they need to do it in a way that gives IT the security ecosystem that they require. That someone is us. And it’ll be our network and platform that finally give IT a true extension of their network perimeter.

Finally, we think we can do some of it better than other security companies. We’re researching security techniques that will protect against sophisticated threats in a way other vendors can’t. They simply can’t see the traffic we see, and they lack the big data analysts that can create actionable intelligence from a view like this.

But what about the users who trust OpenDNS for safe, fast, smart and reliable DNS?

Over the last seven years, we’ve been a company focused on delivering best in class Internet services so that anyone can connect to the Internet with confidence. That mission is stronger than it’s ever been, and we’ll be using some of the capital we’ve raised to nurture and grow our consumer Internet and DNS services, too.

While we have more than 7,000 business security customers today, we have 50,000,000 daily users – many of whom have been with us for years and years. We thrive on your feedback and your support and I’m always available to hear your feedback or comments on how we can make our services and company better.

Want to help us grow?

Since the very beginning, the contributions and feedback of OpenDNS users has shaped our growth. Even now, there’s no shortage of ways to get involved with our mission of making the Internet better. First off, if you or someone you know is passionate about disrupting the aging and tired security industry, building world-class security services or solving challenging infrastructure problems, tell them about us. Or come work with us yourself! We’re hiring carefully, but aggressively, and we’ve always found that the best people we meet already know us, or are referred to our company by people who do.

A financing event is a testament to the great team we’ve assembled and the great work we’ve already accomplished, and it’s a vote of confidence in our ability to execute on our future potential. So now it’s time to get back to work. :-)

As always, thanks for all your support.

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