Petrichor Networks Hires Head of Product

Petrichor Networks, a startup that is focused on helping cable operators unify their video networks and gracefully migrate to an all-IP platform, said it has hired industry vet S.V. Vasudevan as head of product.

Vasudevan, who has held exec slots at companies such as TiVo, Cisco Systems and switched digital video pioneer BigBand Networks (acquired by Arris in 2011), will be taking over Petrichor’s product functions as the company continues lab trials, pivots into initial field trials and prepares to launches its product/platform commercially later this year, and ramp up in 2018.

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Vasudevan, who started at Petrichor on June 1, noted that the plan is “reimagine” video solutions using a cloud-based software system that aims to reduce costs and network densities by 50%, and reduce power requirements by about two-thirds, while also helping MSOs open the door to a new class of applications and revenue opportunities.

Petrichor aims to unify the operations of what have become dual video networks for operators -- one leaning on legacy QAM technology, and a newer one that runs over IP.

The premise of the company’s approach is to “provide a graceful runway to get from the traditional legacy QAM architecture to an all-IP architecture,” added John Boland, a former Arris exec who was named CEO of Petrichor earlier this year.  

While going all-IP and managing the quality of experience/service that underpins that move is the longer term end-game, Boland said that Petrichor has some more near-term opportunities to displace current on-demand hardware and reduce an operator’s operational expenses.

Boland, who has been focusing on Petrichor’s business development, noted that the company is in lab trials with two operators since Q3 2016, and expects to next enter a field trial with a yet-unnamed U.S. operator.

Regarding financing, he said Petrichor is about three-quarters of the way through a seed round, and that he’d like to see the company move through the field trials and enter commercial deployment before the company aggressively pursues an A-series round of funding.

“We've got plenty of runway right now,” he said.

Petrichor currently has 11 employees, but is in hiring mode.

Others industry vets tied to the startup include John Carlucci, president and chief strategist, who previously was president and CTO of Alticast U.S and a former exec with Clearleap (now part of IBM), and Time Warner Cable; Bill Helms, chief technologist, who previously was vice president of subscriber networks at Time Warner Cable; and Mike Hayashi, chairman, the former long-time engineering exec at TWC.