Benu Networks, a startup focused on carrier WiFi and virtualized CPE technology, said Shaw Ventures as joined a group of strategic investors that contributed to a recently sweetened $27.7 million “B” round of funding.
Last October, Benu, which is gearing up for its go-to-market phase, announced Liberty Global Ventures and Arris Group as strategic investors, and the hiring of Dino Di Palma as CEO. Those investors added to the $26.6 million round announced by Benu last September. Spark Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures and Comcast Ventures also participated in the round.
“This funding will allow Benu to continue to focus on bolstering its sales, marketing and engineering teams, and expand into the Latin America and Asia Pacific regions,” Di Palma said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be working with Shaw in our pursuit to deliver solutions to global carriers which will enable them to provide new and exciting cloud-based value-added services.”
Founded in 2010, Billerica, Mass.-based Benu counts execs from a wide range of cable and telecom vendors, including RiverDelta Networks (sold to Motorola in 2001), Cisco Systems, Arris, and Ciena. It has been developing a “virtual” service edge platform that places the management and brains of services into the cloud. By decoupling the control and data plane, the company believes, operators can gain unprecedented visibility into the set-tops, modems, tablets and other devices on their own access networks, as well as those run by others.
The first application from Benu is the Wireless Access Gateway, which is already in use by a yet-unnamed major U.S. cable operator to manage and authenticate the national deployment of a “community” WiFi service that programs an additional, public-facing SSID (service set identifier) in millions of homebound DOCSIS-powered wireless gateways.