Rockport Networks raises $61.9 million CAD, appoints Marc Sultzbaugh as co-CEO

Marc Sultzbaugh
Marc Sultzbaugh, the co-CEO of Rockport Networks
Rockport’s tech is being used by a supercomputer at the University of Texas.

Ottawa-based SaaS startup Rockport Networks has raised $61.9 million CAD ($48 million USD) from a funding round led by Northern Private Capital, with contributions from other existing investors.

The new capital was announced with Rockport’s appointment of Marc Sultzbaugh as its new co-CEO.

Founded in 2012, Rockport has developed a switchless networking model aimed to provide a faster, more efficient, and cleaner approach to data centre connectivity. Its systems are able to support high performance computing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

Rockport’s technology is currently being used by Frontera, a supercomputer located at University of Texas’ Advanced Computing Centre (TACC). The supercomputer runs its production workloads on Rockport’s switchless network, which includes quantum computing, pandemic-related life sciences research, as well as rapid responses to emergencies such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods.

Backed with fresh financing, Rockport intends to expand its sales and marketing efforts.

A spokesperson for the company told BetaKit that Rockport has received just under $100 million in total funding to date.

Rockport’s past funding has included a $12 million investment from the federal government in 2019 through the Strategic Innovation Fund to support the company’s $49.9 million Networking at the Edge (NATE) project, intended to reduce the amount of energy used by data centres and improve energy efficiency.

RELATED: Rockport receives $12 million government investment for data storage project

The company has received a number of government financing deals over the years to support its projects, including a $4 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada and a loan from FedDev Ontario totalling nearly $3 million to support the commercialization of its autonomous networking solution.

Sultzbaugh has been a board member at Rockport since December 2020. Joining Rockport CEO and co-founder Doug Carwadine, Sultzbaugh will be responsible for all aspects of Rockport’s growth, including technology and product management, marketing, sales, manufacturing and customer relationships.

“The switching network in today’s data centers is fundamentally broken,” Sultzbaugh said. “Customers can no longer efficiently and cost-effectively process today’s demanding workloads on yesterday’s architectures.”

“We’re applying new thinking to the systemic issues of network congestion and performance that plague advanced computing workloads so that customers can expect more predictable network performance and much greater utilization of their compute and storage resources,” he added.

Prior to joining Rockport, Sultzbaugh spent 20 years at Mellanox Technologies, a supplier of InfiniBand and Ethernet interconnect solutions based in Sunnyvale, California. He started as a sales director at the company in 2001, and departed as the senior vice president and marketing in 2020.

Featured image from Rockport Networks

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a journalism student at Ryerson University and the business and technology editor at The Eyeopener, Ryerson's largest independent newspaper. Follow her on Twitter @charlizealcaraz

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