SDN Startup Plexxi Raises $35M for 'Invisible' Networks
SDN startup Plexxi scored $35 million in a D round of funding to further its goal of making networks "invisible," the company announced Monday.
The investment brings the total to $83 million. (See Plexxi Raises $35M Series D Funding.)
Plexxi has achieved 10x growth since last year. "We probably could be profitable with this round but it's likely there's one other round subsequent to this," CEO Rich Napolitano tells Light Reading. Plexxi is modeling its growth path on Arista, which raised $150 million in private markets.
"This fuels our market expansion phase," Napolitano says. "It took us three and a half years to have a hardened, enterprise-class product."
Plexxi sells software and programmable, software-defined hardware switches used within data centers that are based on OpenStack and VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) technology and which need a more agile infrastructure than one afforded by traditional leaf-spine architecture because of the growing applications load. Plexxi's products are also used for campus-wide connectivity, federating multiple data centers in a single image, and in widely distributed clouds -- one carrier customer has deployed Plexxi around the Pacific Rim, an undersea network. (See New Plexxi Chief Makes His Mark.)
"The network should be invisible," Napolitano says."You shouldn't have to have dedicated resources to manage the network. It should just be part of the fabric of the infrastructure and under software control." Plexxi's philosophy is that the network and IT infrastructure should be managed using the same tools and staff -- a classic DevOps model and aligned with New IP networks.
Plexxi's funding round was led by a new investor with participation from existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Matrix Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners.
It's been a good month for SDN startups; NoviFlow scored a $9 million round of Series A funding, announced just last week. (See SDN Startup NoviFlow Scores $9M Series A Funding.)
Plexxi said in July it was "on the cusp" of disclosing a deal with a big service provider to deploy a vast SDN network in 14 countries with 96 points of presence. Plexxi said then that it would disclose the details in eight weeks. That was nearly nine weeks ago. The company said Friday that the deal is still under wraps; the customer isn't ready to announce. (See Plexxi Poised for Big SP SDN Deployment.)