NFWare company, a Skolkovo Foundation resident from the innovation center’s IT cluster, recently attracted $1.4 million investment from Google Research business angels and other investors – Softline Venture Partners, Plug and Play Ventures – aimed at expanding its software line for processing web traffic, which the company plans to send to market this year. The new products process traffic at a faster rate while also using up to ten times fewer hardware resources than market leaders Cisco, Juniper, Huawei, Nokia, and Ericsson.

The Skolkovo resident develops virtual network solutions, which handle large volumes of traffic using standard servers as well as virtual and cloud environments, for telecom operators and internet companies. NFWare can quickly scale up in response to an increase in user requests and requires up to ten times fewer hardware resources than products from Cisco, Juniper, Huawei, Nokia and Ericsson.

A flagship solution from Virtual CGNAT processes up to 240 gigabytes of traffic per second on a single server and was developed based on a patented MultiCore Network Stack technology. This year NFWare will be putting new products on the market that will expand the use scenarios for high-performance traffic processing technology, allowing the company to occupy a strong market niche for NFV products, which is projected to grow significantly in value terms over the coming years.

According to NFWare co-founder and CEO Alexander Britkin, global traffic for the mobile sector alone increased by 50% in 2020, bringing about an increased interest in NFWare technology around the world. The ability to work with a large amount of traffic and to scale up network capacity has become a necessary requirement for a vendor.

“Our main product today solves the problem for IPv4 addresses while the underlying technology also solves other issues," said Mr. Britkin. "Our new products will broaden the number of scenarios in which our high-processing technologies can be used.” 

According to the head of Softline Venture Partners, Elena Volotovskaya, the 5G revolution is a digital transformation happening at the state level, bringing about new requirements with regards to capacity and the performance of network communications. “NFWare solutions form the technological basis for a worthwhile answer to these challenges,” she stated. “We are inspired by the prospect of supporting a company with Russian roots, which has all the possibilities of changing the approaches to building networks at the global level.”

Dmitry Filatov, the managing partner of the venture fund Sistema_VC said that the relevance of NFV-products is only increasing, citing a possible market value of $70 billion by 2024. “During the pandemic many providers have been battling with the sharp increase in traffic for which they were unprepared, because the capacity of traditional hardware products that most of them use is usually very limited and cannot cope with such a high load. NFWare solutions will allow you to work effectively and flexibly with a changing [traffic] load.”

Alexander Galitsky, the managing partner at AlmazCapitalPartners stated that “NFWare is a solution that is critical for telecom operators’ infrastructure and the transfer requires a lot of trust. The company has already shown that it is worthy of this trust, having successfully worked with large telecom operators in EMEA countries and continues to create new contracts with long-term plans to virtualize entire countries.”

Mr. Galitsky went on to say that having investors and new rounds will also inspire further confidence among customers for long-term collaboration.

Nella Vasilyeva, the head of telecommunications at the Skolkovo Foundation IT Cluster cited NFWare’s solutions as the result of the innovative architecture in which the company operates. “It is one of a number of companies that has developed high capacity network software for telecom operators on the basis of innovative architecture. This development allows customers to build a flexible and efficient infrastructure with the ability to quickly scale-up in real-time. We believe that the field for virtualizing network services is very promising and relevant for telecommunications operators.”

The startup’s clients include two out of the top-ten largest international mobile and telecom operators in Russia, USA, Europe, and Asia. Its clients in Russia are Tinkoff Mobile and Mail.Ru Group.

NFWare was founded in 2014 by Alexander Britkin, Igor Ryzhov, Pavel Ivashenko, and Ruslan Smelyansky. The company has offices in Moscow and California. NFWare’s technology received first prize in the field of network technologies at the Network Transformation Awards for the “Breakthrough of the Year 2019” nomination at the SDN NFV Congress in the Netherlands.