Comcast V.C. Arm Joins Benu Networks’ $26.6 Million ‘B’ Round

Benu Networks has landed a “oversubscribed” $26.6 million “B” round of funding led by Sutter Hill Ventures along with existing investors Spark Capital and Comcast Ventures.

When factoring in an earlier $5 million infusion of private equity, Benu Networks has raised at least $31.6 million.

Boston-area Benu, founded in 2010, said the funds will accelerate its go-to-market strategy, which is centered on helping fixed and mobile operators augment their networks with Wi-Fi and small cell technology. More specifically, the company aims to help operators simplify large-scale networks by moving the intelligence and complexity from the access network to the packet core using a software-defined networking/network functions virtualization architecture.

Benu already has a “major” yet unnamed North American tier-1 customer deployment, according to a statement from CEO Dave Callan.

While Benu has not disclosed that customer, one of its investors, Comcast, has been rapidly deploying Wi-Fi access points that augment the reach of its broadband network.

“Benu’s disruptive approach for large-scale device management, session control and IP service intelligence solves a big networking problem for Wi-Fi and HetNet deployments and influenced our decision to invest in the company,” said Sutter Hill managing director and new Benu board member Stefan Dyckerhoff, in a statement.

Before Benu revealed its current product focus, industry sources said the startup was helping Motorola develop the chassis for its integrated Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP), a product that combines the functions of the CMTS and edge QAM. Coincidentally, Callan is an exec late of Motorola and RiverDelta Networks, a CMTS startup that Motorola purchased in 2001 for $300 million.