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13 November, 2006 - 16:04 By Staff Reporter

Netronome nets third round funding

Cambridge networking company, Netronome Systems has closed a £10.5m ($20m) series C financing round, led by 3i.Netronome Systems Inc, which is headquartered in Pittsburgh, says it aims to transform the speed and efficiency of network appliances using its proprietary Open Appliance platform.

3i is joined by Tudor Investment Corporation as well as existing investors Top Technology Ventures, Spinner Global Technology Fund and a group of business angels including FORE Systems founders Robert Sansom and Eric Cooper.

Netronome was founded in 2003 by serial entrepreneur Niel Viljoen together with David Wells and Johann Tönsing, whose track records take in key roles at companies including FORE Systems, Nemesys, Tellabs and Marconi. Netronome is already shipping product to customers and has an office in Centurion, South Africa in addition to its UK and US bases.

Network appliances for security products, and WAN and LAN application optimisation functions are a rapidly growing multi-billion dollar segment of the network equipment market.

Netronome says its Open Appliance platform addresses the need of these vendors by combining hardware co-processors and software allowing “appliance” vendors to scale their platforms significantly in performance whilst reducing power consumption.

According to the company, the platform also supports virtualisation of appliances allowing appliance users to consolidate platforms and optimally configure appliance functions in data centres, all without affecting performance.

Hardware acceleration co-processors are installed in standard IA/X86 server platform using a highly optimized PCI Express interface to create the Open ApplianceTM.. Netronome supports industry efforts for enhanced co-processing such as Intel and IBM's recently announced Geneseo initiative.

3i senior partner Ian Lobley said; “Netronome’s approach to the problem of speed and power consumption of platforms running network applications is highly distinctive and has significant impact for customers.”

Ian Lobley and Krishna Visvanathan of 3i and Rob Broggi of Tudor Investment Corporation will join the Netronome board which also includes Robert Sansom, ex Intel executive Jim Finnegan and Harry Fitzgibbons, managing partner of Top Technology Ventures.

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