Today, we announced the first closing on our B round — $25m of new
capital, led by Satish Dharmaraj from Redpoint Ventures and joined by
Goldman Sachs, our current venture investors (Mike Volpi at Index
Ventures and Shirish Sathaye at Khosla Ventures) and our early angel
This was a proud day for everyone here at the company, not only
because of the amount of capital raised and the high profile investors
who came with it, but also because it was their resounding endorsement
of the original Big vision.
In the words of one of our investors, Mike Volpi, visions for a
startup come in medium, large and extra large. This one is extra,
extra large. Picture the networking seven layer OSI model that is
found everywhere from textbooks to company names. Now picture taking
a magic marker and crossing it out, replacing it with a three tier
architecture of an SDN data plane, SDN controller plane and SDN
applications. Audacious. Since day one, that has been our investor
Big visions like this take time. They take partners who want to join
on this path. They take customers who want to join on this path.
They take brilliant engineers who want to build the path, and they
take customer teams dedicated to smoothing the path. They take
investors willing to create time we need as a team, as a community and
as an industry to build the path from the networks we have today to a
modern, software-defined approach to building and operating a network.
This is a path that takes time, but we’ve been blessed by timing. As
John Morgridge, the first CEO of Cisco, used to say, “when the ratio
cost of compute, cost of storage and cost of networking change by just
a bit, entirely new IT architectures become practical overnight… and
that sea change happens about every ten years.” Server virtualization
kicked off this decade’s sea change, and as we work with our customers
on their designs, we’re seeing entirely new networking architectures
suddenly become practical. From the new generation “automate
everything” designs in public cloud providers to the “isolate
everything” designs in financial services, we’re seeing SDN playing a
daily role in modernizing the network and our investors agreed.
There is a need for a modern network, there is a gap between that and
today’s network, there are many paths to get there, and they will all
change the networking industry in deep and profound ways. As all of
our investors have commented at one time or another, the timing is
perfect for an extra, extra large vision.