Coming In Hot
Regardless of whether a company is still in stealth mode or is a veteran on the scene, networking players all have a few of the same things on their mind right now: cloud, edge, analytics, and SD-WAN.
While some of the upstarts on this list partner with the incumbent tech giants, such as Cisco Systems, these companies also see plenty of room for competition and are coming to the table armed with compelling offerings that are giving even the most established networking vendors a run for their money.
Here are 10 of the hottest networking startups of 2019…so far.
Co-Founder and CEO: Andy Ory
128 technology emerged in 2014 and at the time was known as Primary Networks II. The networking company specializes in SD-WAN, edge, and security solutions and has been shaking up the hardware-centric networking market through its software router and networking platform.
Burlington, Mass.-based 128 choses to work with the channel in an "entrepreneurial" fashion, allowing partners to engage with the company without structured metrics, 128 said.
CEO: Mansour Karam
Apstra, founded in 2014, first introduced the intent-based networking concept in early 2016 and is focused on intent-based data center automation technology. The company's Apstra Operating System is a multi-vendor platform that lets users choose hardware to deploy, and then simplifies the management and troubleshooting of the environment using analytics and telemetry.
The Menlo Park, Calif.-based startup now offers sophisticated integration with VMware vSphere, according to Apstra.
CEO: Devesh Garg
Arrcus, with its "network different" tagline, got its start in 2016 with its vendor-agnostic network switching and routing operating system. The company says that its mission is to provide software-powered network transformation for the interconnected world by connecting hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
The San Jose, Calif.-based company last year raised $15 million in Series A funding led by General Catalyst and with participation from seed investor Clear Ventures.
CEO: Steve Mullaney
Aviatrix Systems, a hybrid cloud networking specialist, has so far pulled in $25.4 million in funding to go toward its multi-cloud and network building software.
Founded in 2014, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company has been recently attracting top tech talent to its leadership team, including three executives from VMware and Nicira. Steve Mullaney joined the company as CEO in June, having previously served as CEO of Nicira.
CEO: Dr. Craig Barratt
Network programmability specialist Barefoot Networks emerged onto the networking scene in 2013 and has been specializing in designing and operating the world’s fastest and most programmable networks since then, according to the privately-held, Santa Clara, Calif.-based company.
Tech giant Intel in June announced its intent to buy Barefoot Networks, for an undisclosed amount to boost its own cloud networking and chip-making portfolio. The companies expect the deal to close during Q3 2019.
Co-Founder and CEO: Shlomo Kramer
Enterprise networking and security provider Cato Networks offers a cloud service that integrates edge SD-WAN, global network backbone, and network security services.
The Israeli company announced in January that it secured a $55 million investment round after growing its bookings by 352 percent in 2018. That growth, according to the company, was led by its channel partners. Cato's total funding today has reached $125 million since it was founded in 2015.
CEO: Kumar Ramachandran
Founded in 2013, CloudGenix hasn't been quiet about its plans to shake up the SD-WAN space. In fact, it finds itself facing off against the likes of Cisco and VMware frequently and is winning deals over the incumbents, according to the San Jose, Calif.-based specialist.
In April, CloudGenix raised $65 million in Series C funding, which came on the heels of a rapid-growth year in which the company grew 300 percent year-over-year with more than 90 percent of that growth coming from wins over incumbent networking providers, Ramachandran said.
CEO: Andrew Coward
Founded in 2017, market newcomer Lumina Networks was the result of Brocade being purchased and split up. Brocade's emerging SDN technology was acquired by Lumina Networks, which today offers OpenDaylight-based SDN controller solutions and services that can be used to deliver 5G.
The San Jose, Calif.-based company has so far raised $10 million in Series A funding led by telecom giants AT&T and Verizon.
CEO: Paul Dawes
Mode.net is a telecommunications and networking services player that offers a global network which provides affordable and high-performance access and SD-WAN to multi-cloud services, data centers, and remote offices. The upstart was formed by Cornell researchers Kevin Tang and Nithin Michael in 2014 after the pair discovered a mathematical way to watch and predict network traffic.
The privately-held, San Francisco-based company has so far raised $24.3 million in funding, according to Crunchbase.
CEO: Saar Gillai
WAN specialist Teridion got its start in 2013 with its platform that offers SLA-backed performance and reliability of existing WAN technologies, such as MPLS, along with the flexibility and global reach of the public cloud. The platform, Teridion for Enterprise, can be integrated with third-party SD-WAN solutions.
In 2018, the San Francisco-based company announced its first channel program to help solution providers sell its cloud-based WAN service to enterprise customers.