Gotta give stealthy 128 Technology credit for cleverness on $20M funding filing

128 Technology, a stealthy software startup that "is on a mission to fix the Internet," has quietly and cleverly filed an SEC form regarding a fresh $20M in funding on, of all days, 12/8.

The Burlington, Mass., startup has also jazzed up its website since I looked at it last week while prepping to attend the Xconomy "Enterprise Tech Strikes Back" event in Boston at which 128 CEO and Co-founder Andy Ory took part on a panel discussing "Building the Next Great Infrastructure Company."

While its way too early to say whether 128 will be that Next Great Infrastructure company, it's off to a good start at least money-wise. The latest funding adds to $12M raised a year ago and another $4M in seeding funding from mid-2014. It's not entirely clear where 128 is getting its funding, though G20 Ventures' Bob Hower is listed in the SEC document as a company director.

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Ory played coy during his panel session at last week's event regarding exactly what to expect from 128, whose name plays off of the highway that runs past its headquarters and that has housed many of Massachusetts' most famous tech companies over the years (the company's new website also invites you to drag icons onto an image of a highway to fetch additional info). He did say that the move to public and private clouds, mobile communications and new applications requires big changes to the network. "It fundamentally hasn't changed in 25 years," Ory said.

Though Ory and his Acme Packet team took a serious stab at addressing needed networking changes more than a decade ago with the formation of Acme Packet, which he told Network World in a Q&A in 2011 was "building a signaling system for the Internet."

That sounded good to Oracle, which bought Acme Packet in 2013. (A previous Ory startup, Priority Call Management, was snapped up by LHS Group in 1999.)

128's management team includes names familiar to those who are familiar with Ory's past startups and the businesses that bought them. Timothy Ziemer, Kevin Klett, Patrick MeLampy, Michael Baj and Michael O'Malley all include at least one mention of Acme Packet, Oracle or Priority Call on their resumes. 

Those looking to add 128 Technology to their own resumes can check out the company's job listings via LinkedIn, which currently lists more than two dozen people with claims to 128 Technology employment on their profiles. Job openings seek expertise in everything from routing and security product management to full-stack development engineering.

Ory said during the Xconomy event that 128's technology is in beta mode and that the company will emerge from stealth mode in the new year. So, it won't be long before we find out whether Cisco, Juniper and other networking stalwarts have a new threat to worry about.


Bob Brown

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