The deal was disclosed in an SEC filing Wednesday. Andreessen Horowitz led the round, according to a report in VentureBeat. Other participants included SV Angel, A Capital, and some networking “luminaries.” I would guess Nick McKeown is among them.
That’s because Forward, based in Los Altos, Calif., was founded last year by members of the team that worked under McKeown’s guidance. McKeown, Scott Shenker of the University of California at Berkeley, and Martin Casado, now a senior vice president at VMware, helped kick-start OpenFlow and, with it, the software-defined networking (SDN) craze that we’re riding today.
So, the Forward founders are people who worked on OpenFlow before it was called “OpenFlow.” Among them is David Erickson, who wrote Beacon, the open source OpenFlow controller that’s at the heart of Big Switch Networks‘ Floodlight and is credited as an inspiration for the OpenDaylight Project.
Erickson is now Forward’s CEO. He’s come a long way since we interviewed him in 2012.
Another founder is Brandon Heller, whose projects at Stanford included Mininet, a laptop-based network emulator.
Forward hasn’t said what it’s working on yet, other than to mumble about the application of computer science principles to networking. That’s a pretty common theme these days and is helping push networking’s DevOps movement.
In any event, the team’s background, experience, and connections make Forward worth watching.