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BROCADE GETS A FINAL $21M SHOT IN THE ARM

Fibre channel switch hotshot Brocade Communications Systems Inc has received $21m in a final round of venture funding which capitalizes the San Jose, California company at $36m. Weiss, Peck & Greer was the lead investor with the company’s other VC partners also pitching in, including Sun Microsystems Inc co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim. DEC, McData, Tokyo Electron Ltd and Sequent Computer Systems Inc are OEMing Brocade’s 2-to-16 port SilkWorm switch which is designed to move large chunks of data between Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop storage devices and servers. There are thought to be a further 15 OEM partners working through contract details. Sun has been showing SilkWorm working in conjunction with its Photon Fibre Channel Enterprise Network Array A5000. Privately-held Brocade claims it did $200,000 in its first fiscal quarter of 1997 and $6.5m in its fourth quarter to the end of October. It shipped 4,700 switches to the end of September and claims it will have shipped between 7,000 and 10,000 more by the end of this month. At the beginning of the year the company was modestly projecting annual revenue would reach $100m by 2000. á

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