Investment in SDN Start-ups is Healthy

Pluribus Networks just landed $50M in Series D, raising its total funding to $92.8M, which helped them leapfrog Cumulus Networks in total funding raised. Pluribus Network is used by CloudFlare in their CDN infrastructure. Going back in time to 2007, Ncira Networks is the start-up that introduced SDN to the world, where they raised $41.8M, and sold to VMWare for an astonishing $1.26B. The list of SDN start-ups below include some of the more well known names, as well as some relatively new ones. One common theme in the SDN start-up world – a big chunk of the start-ups were Co-founded by Stanford PHD’s.

Interesting Nuggets on the SDN Start-up Scene
  • Four SDN Start-ups were founded in 2010, three in 2012, and two in 2013
  • Total funding for all 9 SDN Start-ups is $330.3M
  • 8 of 9 start-ups are based in Silicon Valley
  • Barefoot Networks has Nick McKeown, Stanford Professor as a co-founder, who was also a Co-founder of Ncira Networks
  • Barefoot Networks Principal Software Architect spent 3 years as a member of the Technical Staff at Big Switch Networks
  • Forward Networks has 4 PHD’s from Stanford, and one of the Co-founders was advised by Nick McKeown
  • Versa Networks Co-founder was previously CTO of Juniper Networks
Company  Founded Emp Raised HQ
1 Pluribus Networks 2010 80  $92.8M Palo Alto
2 Big Switch Networks 2010  85  $44.7M  Santa Clara
3 Plexxi 2010  79  $48.4M  Cambridge
4 Cumulus Networks 2010  91  $51M  Mountain View
5 Viptela 2012  51  $33.5M  San Jose
6 Avi Networks 2012  41  $33M  Sunnyvale
7 Versa Networks 2012  53  $14.4M  Santa Clara
8 Barefoot Networks 2013  20  $1.4M  Palo Alto
9 Forward Networks 2013  9  $11.1M  Los Altos

*data collected from crunchbase and employee count from LinkedIn.

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