Japan’s Midokura, a startup with offices in San Francisco, Tokyo, Lausanne and Barcelona, today announced a $17.3 million Series A funding round, led by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, along with NTT Group’s DOCOMO Innovations, Inc., and Innovative Ventures Fund Investment, the investment arm of NEC Group. The funding will be used to hire and grow the team in preparation for future deployment and expansion of Midokura’s MidoNet network virtualization services.
Midokura sells its offering to companies that want to deploy their own cloud solutions, like mobile network operators and enterprise customers. It’s a virtualization offering that works with popular cloud platforms, simplifying the costs and requirements associated with managing cloud computing deployments. MidoNet is an infrastructure-as-a-service play, and has already managed to attract considerable interest from its beta product launch back in October of 2012.
“MidoNet, our software-defined networking product, is a solution for companies that are wanting to build a cloud, whether they’re a cloud service provider, or a hosting provider, or a large enterprise, or even a small company that wants to build a cloud, as you start the process you realize that it has some problems to do with scalability, with automation, with isolation,” Midokura Chief Strategy Officer Ben Cherian explained in an interview. “Our product MidoNet solves these problems having to do with cloud networking.”
This is a considerably large funding round, but Cherian said it’s what the company needs to grow at the pace needed to keep up with the interest so far. Co-founder Tatsuya Kato, who as part of this announcement is moving from the CEO position to a role as chairman of the board, originally set out to build essentially an Amazon Web Services for Japan with co-founder, former CTO and new CEO Dan Mihai Dumitriu, but found it to be a huge problem that needed addressing first, hence the creation of Midokura. Now, the team plans to grow the company quickly to accomplish its goals.
“A large percentage of this is to be put back into the company to build more product, to hire more engineers,” Cherian said. “The goal is really to go deeper in terms of the technology. We’re going to be doing more work in terms of adding features to it, in terms the management aspects to it, and in terms of integrations with other technologies and other companies out there. All of that takes people, so mostly the funds are going to be used to bring on more engineers and more technical folks.”
Midokura sees the market evolving quickly in this space, with more enterprise customers coming on board as demand increases and product awareness around software-defined networking grows. To make sure it can best meet the demand in that area when it arises, it’s laying the engineering groundwork now with this sizeable Series A.