Trapeze Swings Into View

Ladies and gentlemen! The wireless circus has a new startup act chock full of ex-employees from Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR) and Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK).

Turn your attention to the center ring and you'll see Pleasanton, Calif.-based Trapeze Networks Inc., a company building what is believed to be a subscriber management platform and router for wireless networks.

It's noteworthy that Trapeze's business plan and roster of well known names have already landed the company a $16 million Series A funding round from Accel Partners and Redpoint Ventures. In the second quarter of 2002, when Trapeze was funded, the average round size for an early stage investment was only about $5.7 million, according to data compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the National Venture Capital Association, and Venture Economics.

Trapeze won't yet give specifics as to what it is building. Sources around Silicon Valley, however, have noted that the startup's senior management team has collectively spent many years under the telecom big top.

Jim Flach, Trapeze's CEO and president has been a partner at Accel for more than a decade, during which time he's had CEO stints at companies such as Bandwidth9 Inc., Hybrid Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: HYBR), and Redback.

During Flach's tenure at Redback, he worked with Ward Harriman, Trapeze's chief technology officer, who was part of the early Redback technical team. Dan Simone, Trapeze's VP of product management was, at one time, a director of product management at Redback.

William Miskovetz, Trapeze's VP of engineering, was also an early Redback employee, having led the company's engineering efforts at one time. Prior to 1997, Miskovetz held a variety of management positions at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO).

Sources say Trapeze is also home to several folks who used to work in marketing at Extreme Networks. Those include Michael Ferguson, Trapeze's VP of sales, who was previously Extreme's VP of sales, and George Prodan, Trapeze's VP of marketing, who was Extreme's VP of worldwide marketing before retiring at the ripe old age of 48.

Dan Creager, Trapeze's chief financial officer hails from neither Redback nor Extreme. Creager was previously VP of operations at Shomiti Systems Inc.

Redpoint's John Walecka and Accel's Peter Wagner sit on the Trapeze board of directors.

The company has about 90 employees and occupies a 40,000-square-foot office on Las Positas Boulevard. Trapeze was founded in March and funded in April, sources say.

Trapeze had no comment on this story, saying it won't be ready to talk until sometime next year.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
wonderfull 12/4/2012 | 9:20:52 PM
re: Trapeze Swings Into View Seems like this team is pursuing a Wireless Switch/router of sorts targeting the Wi-Fi and 2.5G/3G space.

Maybe a resurrection of the PDSN/GGSN project from Redback.

Any thoughts on the product?
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