Boston-based NFV startup RIFT.io raises $16M in funding

Rift.io, a Boston-based startup, is poised to make some moves in the network functions virtualization (NFV) space. The company just raised $16 million in series A funding led by North Bridge Venture Partners. The funding will be used to develop its open source NFV platform, Rift.ware, and expand its engineering and design team.

Earlier this year, the company raised $7.9 million or 79 percent of a $10 million equity offering from eight investors, according to an SEC filing.

Rift.io was founded in 2014 by CEO Greg Alden, who previously worked for Movik Networks and Starent Networks. Co-founder Matt Harper, chief development officer, also previously worked for Starent Networks and most recently was the system architect for Affirmed Networks. Likewise co-founder Tim Mortsolf, CTO of Rift.io, most recently was chief architect at Affirmed Networks.

Rift.io’s software is open source and the company’s founders believe that it will simplify the development, deployment and management of virtual network services, applications and functions.

“The walls between network product suppliers and network service consumers are disappearing. Our goal from day one was to build a platform that would provide everyone with the same capabilities and technology enjoyed by the largest networking technology companies,” Alden said in a prepared statement.

While there are some startups making headway in the software-defined networking (SDN) and NFV space, they will face tough competition from more traditional players that are also eyeing this area. Earlier this week, Adtran CEOTom Stanton said that he believes Adtran is well positioned for the migration to SDN and NFV because the company has been migrating from being a hardware shop to a software company over the past few years. “I’m in a position to embrace virtualization better than my biggest competitors.  We have embraced that in a way … we are pushing it.  I’ve got less to lose and more to gain,” he said.

IHS Infonetics forecasts that the network functions virtualization (NFV) hardware, software and services market will reach $11.6 billion in 2019, up from $2.3 billion in 2015.