Optical/IP Networks

Anagran Attracts $12M

Anagran Inc., the latest startup from Internet pioneer Dr. Lawrence Roberts, is closing a $12 million Series B funding round.

The funding is on the verge of being announced, according to a source near the company. Roberts confirms this: "We're placing it. We haven't quite completed all the paperwork," he says.

Anagran's Series A round came less than a year ago, totaling $8 million from investors including Argon Capital, ArrowPath Venture Capital, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson (see Roberts' Anagran Plan Draws $8M).

One source familiar with the company says the U.S. government is a major participant in Round B. This would make sense, as Anagran has already begun doing some work for DARPA on improvements to the Transport Control Protocol (TCP), Roberts says.

In recent years, Roberts's attention has been on Flow-Based Networking, where routers keep track of traffic flows rather than scan individual packets, the idea being to boost quality of service (QOS). He first pursued this with Caspian Networks Inc., which aimed to build a core router; Anagran does a similar trick but is aimed at customer-premises equipment for the enterprise.

Roberts says he's happy with the progress of Anagran, which has yet to announce details of its product. But investors have to hope Anagran has a bigger impact than Caspian, which has eaten up $317 million, most of which was washed out in a 2002 round (see Caspian Soaks Up $55M More and Caspian Starts Fresh With $120M). [Ed note: Not that it's necessarily relevant, but an anagram for "Anagran Networks" is "A regnant rank sow."]

Roberts was CTO at Caspian when he stepped away to start Anagran early last year (see Larry Has Left the Building and Supercomm Snippets: The Sequel).

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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