Big Switch Networks, one of the better-known startups in the fast-crowding field of software-defined networking (SDN) players, has secured a $25 million round of funding that it will use to expand its engineering, sales and marketing teams.
The Series B round, announced by Big Switch Wednesday after being heavily rumored this week, was led by Redpoint Ventures and Goldman Sachs and included existing investors Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures, among others. It brings Big Switch's total venture funding to $39 million, including the $14 million Series A round it closed in March 2010.
"Big Switch is delivering on the vision of software-defined networking with an open and standards-based platform that enables network programmability, flexibility and new levels of network service delivery. We started this revolutionary trend away from closed and proprietary systems, and are gratified that every major physical and virtual infrastructure vendor is now participating," Guido Appenzeller, CEO and co-founder of Big Switch, said in a statement.
Founded in 2010, Big Switch is a leading proponent of the OpenFlow communications protocol and earlier this year released its controller software, Floodlight, opening up the Floodlight code to developers in January and adding an OpenStack plug-in in July.
As it's come on the radar in Silicon Valley, Big Switch has attracted plenty of talent from established networking and data center players like Avaya, VMware and Arista Networks. Earlier in October, Jason Matlof, a veteran of Cisco, Neoteris and venture capital firm Battery Ventures, signed on as vice president of marketing, and Dave Butler, former vice president of sales and business development at Aruba as well as a former FORE Systems, Berkeley Networks, Fast Forward and VSS Monitoring executive, came aboard as vice president of sales.
A commercial version of Floodlight is expected in the coming months, according to Big Switch, which brought on Matlof and Butler to aid its expansion. Big Switch is also said to be at work on a formal channel strategy beyond the handful of VARs and integrators already in its developer community.
Heading into 2013, the SDN space is expected to be a focus area for both venture capital and M&A activity. A major Big Switch rival, Nicira, was acquired by VMware for $1.2 billion in July, and Big Switch and other companies -- including emerging players such as Embrane, Adara Networks and Plexxi -- have been frequently mentioned as targets for deep-pocketed vendors like IBM and HP.
PUBLISHED OCT. 31, 2012