Darkstrand Raises $12 Million From Angels

Darkstrand, a high-speed network company based in Chicago, has raised $12 million in angel backing from undisclosed investors.

Press release:

Today, Darkstrand, a pioneer in corporate high-speed connectivity, is formally announcing the availability of the world’s most advanced network for corporate use. In June 2008, Darkstrand won a bid to commercialize one half of National LambdaRail’s (NLR) 15,000-route mile optical network that is currently spread across 30 U.S. cities. NLR’s unparalleled 10G network supports large-scale digital production work for research groups that need multi-gigabit speed and access to high-performance computing power. Darkstrand will use NLR as the backbone of the research network, providing a direct-line from the knowledge-driven science world to results-oriented enterprises that will ultimately enable U.S. companies to innovate and more effectively compete globally.
Corporate America, until today, has lacked the insight, connectivity and relationships to realize and fully benefit from the next-generation technology that the scientific community has utilized for years. As a result, the door has been closed to industries that most need the power of advanced networks like product design and manufacturing, bioscience, financial services and entertainment media. Closing the gap has become the primary driver behind Darkstrand. The Darkstrand network is forging collaboration between corporations and leading research communities. Darkstrand is the only company effectively connecting science and business on a national scale, providing corporate America with affordable, flexible, tailored commercial access to advanced technology and high performance computing power that has been exclusive to the research and education community until now.
“The U.S. is a knowledge economy, and to maintain its edge in the long run, companies need the technology and tools that can quickly take an idea and put it into the marketplace,” said Michael Stein, founder and CEO, Darkstrand. “We recognize that our nation’s infrastructure is the best in the world, and our research communities are already using it. Darkstrand can help corporations leverage this same advanced technology to compete more effectively through developments such as better product design, new medicines, and ultra high-resolution entertainment. Darkstrand is really in the business of showing corporations how to do things today that they could not do yesterday — things that go right to the bottom-line of competitive advantage.”
Darkstrand provides American companies with access to NLR to enable previously unknown levels of collaboration for data intensive operations across geographies, and to connect corporations seamlessly with research institutions to effectively leverage their research capabilities and computing power. Productivity gains made possible by Darkstrand will change the end game for corporations looking to create high-value products and services that will gain the most significant competitive advantage in this global economy.
“IDC research has shown that to remain globally competitive, companies will need to exploit high-speed networks to transfer the huge, growing data volumes they are generating today. Darkstrand for the first time offers U.S. firms access to the unrivaled speed of the National Lambda Rail to facilitate streamlined workflow and collaboration across distributed enterprises and across geographies,” said Steve Conway, IDC research vice president, HPC.
Darkstrand provides three service offerings to its customers:
— Network Offering: Gives clients true 10G throughput to 30 coast-to-coast locations and access to the world’s most powerful high-performance computing environment.
— Research Facility Access: Provides a managed service contract to NLR facilities and the ability to tap research tools such as HPC, 3D environment visualization, licensed solutions.
— Custom Research Projects and Consulting: Augments existing corporate research efforts and provides access to subject matter experts across participating NLR institutions.
The NLR provides a safe and secure backbone for all Darkstrand service offerings. The network currently hosts major global initiatives that focus on deconstruction of the universe, space travel, human genome mapping, oil and gas exploration, nuclear medicine and national security. Non-commercial NLR users include NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy and nearly 200 pre-eminent institutions including the Jet Propulsion, Oak Ridge and Los Alamos Laboratories.
About Darkstrand
Darkstrand, Inc. leverages enterprise-level network bandwidth to close the collaboration gap between corporations and research communities. Darkstrand is a pivotal corporate partner for solving real workflow, development and collaborative challenges, linking teams, facilities and suppliers into one ecosystem in a high-speed, networked grid environment via the National LambdaRail (NLR), a vast 15,000-route mile optical network spread across 30 U.S. cities. Darkstrand shortens time to insight and expands productivity for companies wanting a competitive edge. Based in Chicago, Illinois, Darkstrand was established in 2005, and has raised $12 million to date from private investors. For more information, visit http://www.darkstrand.com.

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