Network Virtualization Startup Big Switch Networks Lands $13.75 Million Series A Funding Round Led by Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures
Joins the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) Formed to Promote OpenFlow and Speed Networking Innovation
PALO ALTO, CA - April 22, 2011 – Big Switch Networks, a new company building a platform to bring the benefits of virtualization and cloud architecture to enterprise networks, announced today that it secured $13.75 million in a Series A financing, led by Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures.
Big Switch Networks also announced that it has joined the newly formed ONF, a nonprofit group focused on promoting OpenFlow and other Software-Defined Networking (SDN) technologies as a way to speed innovation in the networking industry. OpenFlow is a standard protocol that enables networks to evolve more rapidly by giving owners and operators better control over their networks and the ability to optimize network behavior.
“Enterprise networking is exciting again. We’re seeing new customer problems that aren’t well addressed with traditional networking technologies and changes in the large IT suppliers that are creating opportunities for startups like Big Switch Networks,” said Mike Volpi, Partner at Index Ventures and Former SVP/GM of the Routing Technology Group at Cisco.
“Just when everyone thought that networking was getting boring and commoditized, Big Switch Networks comes along! Virtualization is now coming to the network layer,” said Charlie Giancarlo, Former Chief Development Officer of Cisco and Angel Investor in Big Switch Networks.
“We’re excited about Big Switch Networks. This is a very strong and technical team, well positioned to be the VMware of networking for the private cloud and campus LAN,” said Shirish Sathaye, Partner at Khosla Ventures.
With this infusion of capital, four new directors joined Big Switch Networks Co-Founders Guido Appenzeller, CEO, and Kyle Forster, VP of Sales and Marketing, on the board:
- Mark Leslie, Lecturer in Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Former CEO of Veritas
- Bill Meehan, Raccoon Partners Lecturer in Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Director Emeritus at McKinsey and Co. and Leader of the Firm’s West Coast and Private Equity Practices
- Shirish Sathaye, Partner at Khosla Ventures and Former VP of Engineering and CTO of FORE Systems and Alteon WebSystems
- Mike Volpi, Partner at Index Ventures and Former Head of M&A, Chief Strategy Officer and SVP/GM of the Routing Technology Group at Cisco
“The advances over the last few years in compute virtualization have left enterprise networking behind,” said Appenzeller. “With this round of funding, we’re pulling together the world class team at all levels that will bring the benefits of virtualization to networking.”
About Guido Appenzeller
Guido Appenzeller is the Co-Founder and CEO of Big Switch Networks. Before co-founding Big Switch Networks, he was a Consulting Professor at Stanford University and Head of the Clean Slate Lab where he managed the OpenFlow standards effort and led the team that developed the OpenFlow reference implementation. He was named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum and holds a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University and a M.S. (Diplom) in Physics from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
About Kyle Forster
Kyle Forster is the Co-Founder and VP of Sales and Marketing at Big Switch Networks. He spent most of his career at Cisco, where he started as a technical assistant to SVP Mike Volpi, and most recently he was the product manager of a $100 million portfolio of Cisco’s WLAN Controllers. He holds an MBA and MS in Computer Science from Stanford University and a BSE in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University.
About Index Ventures
Index Ventures is a leading global venture capital firm active in technology venture investing since 1996. The firm is dedicated to helping top entrepreneurial teams in the Information Technology, clean technology and life science sectors build their companies into market defining global leaders. The team is based in Geneva, London, and Jersey and will open a Silicon Valley office in the Fall of 2011. Index works closely with companies at all stages to build disruptive technologies and emerge as market defining global leaders. For more information, visit: www.indexventures.com.
About Khosla Ventures
Khosla Ventures, the venture investors behind well-known networking companies such as Juniper Networks, Redback Networks, Extreme Networks, Kalpana, Aruba Networks, Infinera and Cerent, was founded by Sun Microsystems Co-Founder Vinod Khosla in 2004. The firm helps entrepreneurs deliver lasting change through technological innovation. Today the firm has holdings in traditional technology sectors and has one of the largest and broadest clean technology portfolios. For more information, visit: www.khoslaventures.com.
About the ONF
ONF’s mission is the promote the development and use of SDN technologies, like OpenFlow, to allow networks to improve more quickly. SDN enables rapid innovation because it allows network owners and operators to optimize the network for their needs. For more information, visit: http://www.opennetworkingfoundation.org.
About Big Switch Networks
Big Switch Networks was founded in 2010 to bring the benefits of virtualization and cloud architecture to enterprise networks. Big Switch is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. For more information, visit: http://www.bigswitch.com.