The investment is coming from GV, Google’s (really Alphabet Inc.’s) investment arm. GV won’t allow Plexxi to disclose the amount.
Asked if this investment moves his company closer to an IPO, Plexxi CEO Rich Napolitano says, “Of course.”
“We don’t know how much GV has invested in Plexxi, but we do know that GV has shifted away from early-stage startups and placed its emphasis squarely on more mature, pre-IPO companies,” says Brad Casemore, an IDC analyst.
“I believe there are opportunities, but this isn’t really the focus here,” says Napolitano. “This isn’t about selling into Google. It’s about Google enabling the marketplace.”
Plexxi targets service providers building public clouds and enterprises building private clouds. The company sees its technology as unique, based on an “underlying photonic mesh” that resembles the fiber-optic rings of telecom networks.
However, Napolitano adds that the key asset is Plexxi’s software-defined networking (SDN) controller. It understands the requirements coming from applications and can manage the underlying physical topologies.
“Imagine dynamically cabling your network through our software’s ability to change the physical photonics network underneath,” he says.