Startup SignalFuse Bags $8 Million, Reunites LoudCloud Team


SignalFuse, a San Mateo, Calif.-based stealth-mode startup led by former VMware and Facebook executives, burst onto the Silicon Valley scene earlier this week by revealing it has raised $8 million in venture capital from Andreessen Horowitz.

SignalFuse is a reunion of former executives from LoudCloud, a primordial cloud infrastructure startup founded in 1999 that re-branded itself as Opsware in 2002 and was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2007 for $1.6 billion.

SignalFuse CEO Karthik Rau and CTO Phillip Liu worked together at LoudCloud in the early part of last decade. Ben Horowitz was president and CEO of the company, and Marc Andreessen was its chairman.

[Related: Pivotal CEO Maritz Denies Any Knowledge Of VMware's Project Zephyr]

Rau left in 2002 to join VMware, where he ended up having a front-row seat to the Palo Alto, Calif.-based vendor's meteoric rise to data center dominance. He started as a product manager for VMware's server management products, and in 2004 was named product manager for VMware's entire portfolio.

Rau co-authored the business section of the S-1 prospectus for VMware's 2007 IPO. When he left VMware in 2009, Rau had worked his way up the ranks to vice president of worldwide marketing, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Liu stayed on at Opsware until HP acquired it, then spent a year at HP software as chief architect of server automation before moving on to Facebook in 2008.

Like most early stage startups, SignalFuse is hungry for engineering talent, though it's not offering much insight into how it's planning to channel these skills.

"We are hiring world-class engineers who want to work on hard problems with smart peers and build software that will be used by millions of people," reads a description on the startup's Website. "If you are passionate about distributed systems, data science and statistics, or simple and elegant user interfaces, we'd love to hear from you."

According to unnamed sources quoted in a GigaOm report earlier this week, SignalFuse will be "building technology that takes time-series data from multiple systems, analyses it fast and puts it into trend lines" in real time.

PUBLISHED APRIL 5, 2013