Not All Is Gloom in Tech Hardware, Blade CEO Says

Even before the recession took hold, many entrepreneurs were fleeing from high-tech hardware–particularly markets facing many competitors. Not Vikram Mehta.

He is president and chief executive of Blade Network Technologies, a closely held Silicon Valley maker of networking gear that was formed from assets spun out of Nortel (NT) Networks in 2006. Though many companies have been holding up spending on such technology–witness the 18 percent revenue decline at archrival Cisco Systems (CSCO) in the quarter ended in July, for example–Blade’s revenues grew 30 percent from the year-earlier period, Mehta says.

On Wednesday, Blade is announcing a new funding round of about $10 million that puts a valuation of $230 million on the company–up about five-fold from the last infusion in 2006, Mehta says–and includes contributions from new investors NEC Corp. and Juniper Networks (JNPR), as well as some more money from Garnett & Helfrich Capital, Blade’s original funder.

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