Montreal-based NoviFlow announced on Wednesday that it has closed on a $9 million round of funding.
The Series A round is led by led by Fonds de solidarité FTQ and also includes W3 Investissement and Somel Investments Inc., as well as investments from previous investors and directors of NoviFlow.
NoviFlow, an early entry into the SDN arena that to date has focused on the OpenFlow protocol, says the infusion of funds will be used to extend the range of its SDN offerings as well add to its headcount.
“We’re not in the typical situation of Series A funding, because we have fully developed products deployed with commercial customers,” says NoviFlow’s Marc LeClerc, vice president of strategy and marketing. “At this stage, we really want to be able to take advantage of the growth of our SDN solutions. Our plan is to go from our current 15 employees to 30 over the next two years across our sales and marketing side and our engineering team.”
NoviFlow, which was spun off from Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) three years ago, offers products, such as Ethernet-based switches, that support the OpenFlow 1.3 and 1.4 specifications. The company first found traction in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, according to LeClerc. The infusion of funds will move it into Europe while expanding its presence in North America.
LeClerc says NoviFlow isn’t “married to OpenFlow” and that some companies that aren’t using OpenFlow have customized its client to fit their needs.
“From the northern side, we support OpenFlow, but we can support other clients,” he says. “Part of the usage of the funds is expanding client interfaces for both north and southbound. That’s partially implemented, and this is something we call a flexible data plane architecture. We’ll go whichever way the market goes, whether it’s OpenFlow or other proprietary things, because we’re a software company first.”
“Our belief is that hybrid switches are solving a vendor problem and not a customer problem,” he says. “Customers are coming to us because they want better performance and a full OpenFlow stack. They can use one of our switches instead of 20 hybrid switches.”