One Step Further...
Today, almost two years after beginning the Embrane adventure, we are taking one step further; we have announced our Series B round of financing, led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Our existing investors, Lightspeed Venture Partners and North Bridge Ventures, also participated in the round. It’s exciting news and I am proud and happy to share it with everyone.
When Marco and I left Cisco, after having spent over 10 years working with great leaders and networking visionaries like Mario Mazzola, Luca Cafiero, Ed Bugnion, Silvano Gai, and many others, we had a vision, but despite the appearances we were scared of what could happen to our careers, families and bank accounts. But all of that fear did not stop us from venturing into the land of entrepreneurship. Our enthusiasm was contagious enough to convince some of the bravest and smartest engineers in Silicon Valley to join us in this great venture. A lot has happened since then, and very similarly to how you see your own children growing, but you never understand when that has actually happened, two years later we look at what Embrane has become and we realize that it all happened one little step at a time.
At the end of 2009, I clearly remember very smart and competent people staring at us like deer in the headlights, as we were trying to convince them that a new approach to deliver network services was necessary to fully enable cloud computing. As luck would have it, we ultimately met Paul Santinelli and John Vrionis, who both could see the issues that we were addressing and understood that we were not crazy (maybe not as much as others would think), supported us in our venture, and put up with our accents.
Since then, the awareness of the limitations of the network has increased dramatically, and now I am probably stating the obvious when I say that it’s time for an infusion of innovation in the network. The demand for new approaches to layer 2/3 and well as layer 4/7 networking has grown tremendously and anyone building Infrastructure-as-a-Service realizes the need to “pull the network in”. You can’t talk about the network as something independent of the cloud or purely as a way to connect to/from the cloud. The network needs to be an integral part of how you build the cloud and a key component of the value that providers of cloud services (either service providers or enterprise IT organizations) have to build into their solutions.
It’s time for the network to become much more agile and support a delivery model that is much more similar to that of compute or storage infrastructures. And this is not possible by just leveraging the same technologies that have been designed in the past 10 or 15 years, primarily to address the needs of traditional enterprise IT environments.
This is what we believe in at Embrane and we have been working on a solution that removes the rigidity of the traditional model and enables a much more agile delivery of network services.
Today’s announcement is a big step forward. Over the past couple of months, I have had the pleasure to get to know NEA, a firm with which I previously had little interaction. I quickly learnt why they have such a great reputation and I am glad to have met Pete Sonsini, who promptly understood our vision and decided to join us and support us in our quest to power the agile network (dropping our tagline here to make sure our VP, Marketing approves this post.)
We’ve come a long way, and today we make one more (very important) step further, but we also know that we have a long way to go before declaring victory. While we are celebrating the recognition of the hard work that has been done so far, we are also hard at work, wrapping up the QA cycle on our first release and interviewing candidates for key positions in engineering, marketing, and sales. We are also continuing to talk to customers, who are building their cloud infrastructures and understand the importance of having network services as an integral part of their solution. The future looks bright for Embrane, but more importantly I expect that in the next coming months there will be a lot of exciting news that will make the network cool again! One step at a time…