Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Stealth Networking Startup VIPtela Raises $33 Million From Sequoia

There’s a new stealth mode company to start watching in the software-defined networking space, and it is already raising some significant money.

Sources familiar with the matter tell AllThingsD that VIPtela, a networking startup based in San Jose, Calif., has secured a $33 million investment from Sequoia Capital in a deal led by the firm’s managing partner, Michael Goguen. A source at the company confirmed that Sequoia has made an investment (it even says so on its relatively bare website), but declined to confirm the amount. Sequoia declined to comment beyond also confirming that it had made an investment in VIPtela; it, too, declined to specify the amount.

VIPtela’s founders come from some big names in the networking world. CEO Amir Khan spent three years as a product manager at Juniper Networks, and five years in a similar role at Cisco Systems. CTO Khalid Raza was a distinguished technologist at Hewlett-Packard for a year and change, following almost 18 years at Cisco. Other early employees hail from Alcatel-Lucent by way of a startup called TiMetra, which it acquired in 2003.

The company is staying mum about what it’s working on. The aim appears to be helping large companies use software to build more agile and more secure wide-area networks. With all the new demands they’re facing — between access to cloud services, and scores of different mobile devices — they’re finding that their existing networks just aren’t quite as flexible as they’d like.

One emphasis will be on reducing the operational costs of running these networks, sources familiar with the company’s plans tell me. A second emphasis will be put on enabling new methods to connect to cloud services. And a third is on security — specifically, reducing the complexity of adding strong encryption to the mix when connecting between different networks.

VIPtela’s public statements have been few. On LinkedIn, it describes itself as “… working on innovative, customer endorsed solutions for the computer networking market. Our vision is to simplify and transform the networking industry.” It has a Twitter account, but hasn’t tweeted yet.

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— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google