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Reeves Seeds Mangrove Systems

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading

Jonathan Reeves, the Sirocco Systems founder with a penchant for Hawaiian shirts, has bootstrapped another new startup with a tropical motif. Wallingford, Conn.-based Mangrove Systems Inc. has raised $3.1 million in seed money from its founders -- Reeves, Richard Barnett, and John Hannon -- and Bessemer Venture Partners.

Reeves founded Sahara Networks in 1995, and his company was acquired by Cascade Communications about 18 months later. He founded Sirocco Systems in 1999, and it was acquired by Sycamore Networks about 18 months later (see Sycamore Takes Over Sirocco ). This time around, however, it might take Mangrove 18 months just to figure out exactly what business it wants to be in.

"There's no urgency to do something right away," says Tim Kraskey, managing director of YankeeTek Ventures and founder, with Reeves, of Sahara Networks. "They've got plenty of time to research several problems, and it might take them a year or more to decide on a direction."

That's not to say that Mangrove is clueless. The company only opened its doors in May and now employs 10 people. And yes, it is spending its time conducting technical and market research to determine what specific products it will build.

Even its name suggests some thought to improving telecom networks. "The mangrove is known for its extensive network of roots coming from one core," Reeves says. "In today's networks, you start at the high-capacity cores and end up at this complex array of access circuits."

When not admiring plants, Reeves has spent time pondering some specific network problems. "There's a great disparity between the service provisioning models of the Sonet/SDH world and those of the data world," he says. "This, in many ways, has limited the growth and rate of deployment of some of the more advanced data services from service providers.

"We all talk about IP, MPLS, and Ethernet solutions as being of great interest. But if you look at what that means to the service provider from a provisioning side… it's an extremely complex and costly undertaking."

Reeves says his company is talking to service providers about their problems and also polling enterprise customers on what services they'd like to see. The end result might be a combination of offerings, such as improved operational support systems software and plug-in hardware platforms, he says.

The bottom line is, it will be a while before Mangrove can deliver something concrete. And naturally, Reeves is in no great hurry to cash out, either. Although he wasn't drawing a salary when Sycamore acquired Sirocco, he did own some 3.6 million shares in the startup, according to SEC filings (see Sycamore Waterlogged). [Ed. note: That's a lot of coconuts!]

Reeves and Bessemer partner Rob Soni are on Mangrove's board. Reeves had been an operating partner at Bessemer since September 2001, but he gave up the role when Mangrove was started.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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12/4/2012 | 10:13:09 PM
re: Reeves Seeds Mangrove Systems
Any guesses for the name of the next Jon Reeves startup?

Khamsin Networks?
Harmattan Systems?
Mesembryanthemum Network Systems?
12/4/2012 | 10:12:43 PM
re: Reeves Seeds Mangrove Systems
I have to give you credit... those are better than the ones that the people in Wallingford came up with after he left Sycamore. :-)

"Only the shadow knows..."
12/4/2012 | 10:12:30 PM
re: Reeves Seeds Mangrove Systems
Reeves' activities and proclaimations have no impact on the industry in any sense.

With so much corruption in the high-tech industry, it would be very difficult to create value for any new products.

The wall street analysts have led down the investors.

Improper accumulation of wealth through corrupt activities have rocked the entire world.

The US Government, through its massive propoganda, have caused trillions of dollars of investment in the US companies. No matter how deep is the corruption, the government attempts to hide it through a web of corruption.

The foreign investors have lost trillions and trillions of dollars. They would never see a penny of their investments again. The sad fact is that the investment was, but now the US companies have eaten up these monies and they do not have to return it. No doubt the USA has become the richest country in the world. What a way to get rich!
12/4/2012 | 10:12:28 PM
re: Reeves Seeds Mangrove Systems
Bobby Max aka Harvey Mudd wrote:

"The foreign investors have lost trillions and trillions of dollars. They would never see a penny of their investments again. The sad fact is that the investment was, but now the US companies have eaten up these monies and they do not have to return it. No doubt the USA has become the richest country in the world. What a way to get rich!"

"lost trillion and trillions of dollars"? Are you high? Why do you pull these numbers out of your ass? They are wildly, crazily wrong. And every one of your posts are negative. What's the deal...do you think you're the only honest person left in the world?
12/4/2012 | 10:12:02 PM
re: Reeves Seeds Mangrove Systems
I disagree on two counts:

1) When someone can determine the future direction of the markets, hire the right people to implement that vision, and follow through on that plan, they are of great worth to the industry. Reeves positioned the SN3000 (nee: Typhoon) as a way to provide services to the explosive growth of bandwidth in the core. Obviously Sycamore still agrees with his initial vision, otherwise they would have pulled the plug already. He's proven himself successful in 1997 and 2000, and I'm interested to see how he does in this market.

2) He has created many jobs in the process. That allows growth of a telecom industry in Connecticut (you could argue that GDC started this) and creates jobs for many different types of people - from engineers to salespeople.

And whether the US government "caused" investment by foreign investors is irrelevant. The total of loss from the stock market drop is about $1.5 trillion - a majority of that coming from inside the US.

"Only the shadow knows..."
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