The Startup Makeover? - InformationWeek

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1/8/2008
03:55 PM
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The Startup Makeover?

NAC vendor Vernier Networks is apparently reinventing itself as a startup, despite being founded almost seven years ago. The company will rename itself Autonomic Networks and brand itself a Series A startup. It's an odd strategy, given that the company already has raised at least $35 million through A, B, and C funding rounds.

NAC vendor Vernier Networks is apparently reinventing itself as a startup, despite being founded almost seven years ago. The company will rename itself Autonomic Networks and brand itself a Series A startup. It's an odd strategy, given that the company already has raised at least $35 million through A, B, and C funding rounds.Neither Vernier nor Autonomic Networks mention the relationship between the two companies on their sites. Sources confirm the name change, and say Vernier will make a formal announcement in the first quarter of this year.

The Autonomic Network Web site includes headings for Management, Board and Investors, but doesn't say who they are. The site only offers generalized descriptions that tout the awesomeness of these mysterious figures.

As for technology, the site is equally vague. The home page says the technology will secure companies by "..automatically learning, auditing, and controlling user access to sensitive data, applications, and other assets on an enterprise network. Patent-pending risk-weighted clustering and profiling technologies automatically pinpoint the few significant incidents that require action from the multitude of questionable events that occur daily in a dynamic business environment."

Given that Vernier is a NAC company, it sounds like it is adding permissions management and stirring in a bit of event/information management.

But why make such a clean break? Does Vernier hope the cachet of a startup, the aura of innovation and potential, might attract more investors and customers?

Or perhaps the company wants to disassociate itself from the NAC market? If so, is it really fair to relaunch as a startup if you're building on an existing technology platform?

Previous investors include Allegis Capital, DCM, Foundation Capital, UV Partners, Packet Design, Masthead Ventures, FT Ventures, Weber Capital, and Venrock Associates.

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