Portland, Oregon-based software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) firm Bigleaf Networks closed on $4.9 million in funding led by Menlo Park-based GoAhead Ventures. Other investors include Oregon Angel Fund and Portland Seed Fund (which were original Bigleaf investors) and new investor Seattle Angel Fund.
Joel Mulkey, founder and CEO of Bigleaf, said the funding will be used to expand sales channels for the company, which primarily sells its cloud-based SD-WAN through channel resellers like TBI and Telarus. The funding will also be used to expand Bigleaf sales outside of North America.
In an interview with SDxCentral, Mulkey said that one of the big differentiators for Bigleaf is that it uses SD-WAN to connect to cloud applications and not as an MPLS replacement like most SD-WAN vendors. The company’s channel resellers send the service to mid-size enterprises and bundle it with broadband connectivity and cloud applications like hosted voice over IP (VoIP).
Mulkey said he knows there are a lot of vendors vying for SD-WAN business, but he believes Bigleaf is focused on a market that is a bit different from the rest.
Mulkey breaks the SD-WAN ecosystem into three groups:
- The traditional equipment vendors that have an SD-WAN offering;
- Vendors like VeloCloud and Viptela that focus on private networking for large enterprises; and
- Companies like Bigleaf that focus on connectivity to the public cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS).
And while Mulkey expects to see more consolidation in the SD-WAN market for companies in the first two groups, he thinks that Bigleaf offers enough of a differentiated service that it can continue to thrive. “There is a lot of business out there. This is where networking is going,” he said.
As part of the investment round, Bigleaf added more members to its board of directors including GoAhead Ventures Managing Partner Takeshi “TK” Mori and Bigleaf Co-founder and VP of Sales Jeff Burchett.