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Big Switch Networks' $48.5 Million Funding Round Signals SDN Momentum
Big Switch Networks, a software-defined networking (SDN) startup, announced a $48.5 million Series C round of funding today, bringing the company's total funding since its founding in 2010 to $94 million.  

New and existing investors, including Morgenthaler Ventures, Silver Lake Waterman, Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Accton, CID Group and MSD Capital all contributed to this latest round of funding, and they were joined by other undisclosed backers.  Industry observers at those companies and others said the funding showcases the continuing momentum of SDN and related technologies such as network functions virtualization (NFV).

"Organizations can no longer ignore the advantages of software defined networking," said Shawn K. O'Neill, Managing Director and Group Head, Silver Lake Waterman. "We believe Big Switch has differentiated technology in an extremely strategic category."

The startup features two main products: Big Monitoring Fabric, described as a next generation network monitoring fabric; and Big Cloud Fabric, the industry's first data center fabric built using whitebox or britebox switches and SDN controller technology.

Big Switch Networks will use this latest funding round to continue to scale the company and expand geographically, as well as expand its reach within markets already deploying next generation Data Center networking. According to the company, they are seeing increased adoption at carriers and enterprises. And according to IHS Research, the market where Big Switch plays is estimated to reach $13 billion in 2019, which is a huge increase over the $781 million valuation from 2014.

Adam Johnson, vice president of Business at Midokura, another early pioneer in the SDN/network virtualization space, weighed in with his thoughts on the announcement, telling VMblog:

"We're excited to hear about Big Switch Network's funding news. Startups in the networking, and specifically network virtualization space, are seeing some very positive traction with customers. What's more, strong partnerships, such as Dell Open Networking, have also proven to be a very positive factor for both Big Switch and Midokura. This new funding round shows there's still investor appetite for innovative networking startup companies who are gaining strong momentum with customers."

Within the same announcement, Big Switch also named former NetApp CEO Dan Warmenhoven and Gary Morgenthaler, principal of Morgenthaler Ventures, to its board.

"I am pleased that our performance continues to earn the trust of our customers, partners, and investors, all of whom believe in our mission to disrupt the status quo of networking," said Douglas Murray, CEO, Big Switch Networks. "Dan Warmenhoven's knowledge and operational experience scaling NetApp from hyper-growth startup through maturity will be invaluable as Big Switch continues to scale and as we introduce our core products to new customers in more markets around the world. I am also thrilled to have Gary Morgenthaler join the board to share his invaluable experience as one of Silicon Valley's pre-eminent investors."

Published Tuesday, January 19, 2016 5:02 PM by David Marshall
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