Where it's based: Santa Clara, Calif.
When it was founded: 2007
Why it's Fierce: The operator-as-dumb-pipe trope in the wireless industry is tired, but keeps getting dragged back out time after time by analysts and pundits. ConteXtream is focused on transforming operator networks from pipes into smart clouds via grid computing. The company's Service Delivery Grid serves as a network virtualization tool and creates a pool of all available application servers in a network. It then delivers each subscriber's traffic to those applications and services best placed to serve what the subscriber wants to do. The company takes advantage of all of this by using grid computing, which uses computers distributed across a network and loosely coupled to serve a common goal. ConteXtream claims to be able to slash operators' total network costs by up to 50 percent by cutting out a wide range of industry players--DPI vendors, router vendors and others. In return, operators get an architecture that virtualizes their applications, saves them money and makes them faster.
ConteXtream makes money by selling licenses to operators to build service delivery grids in their networks. The company had a $14 million funding round in June 2010 to bring its total funding to $29 million, and is backed by Benhamou Global Ventures, Gemini Israel Funds, Norwest Venture Partners and Sofinnova Ventures as well as Comcast Interactive Capital and Verizon Investments.
What's next: ConteXtream recently launched its virtualization solution for content delivery networks, and expects to deploy its solutions with Tier 1 operators in the first half of 2011 after conducting trials last fall.