• United States

VC firm invests in IPv6 start-up

Feb 22, 20063 mins

* Command Information receives $20 million in first-round funding

The Carlyle Group and Novak Biddle Venture Partners made a major investment in IPv6 with the launch of Command Information, a start-up from Herndon, Va., that received $20 million in first-round funding.

Command Information will provide enterprises and government agencies with training, transition planning, software development and testing services for IPv6, an upgrade to the Internet’s main protocol.

“Command Information is focused exclusively on helping large organizations prepare for IPv6,” says founder and CEO Tom Patterson. “The IPv6 infrastructure is happening with tech refresh. It’s coming with Windows Vista and with new routers. But the ROI comes when you start to modify your apps and take advantage of the end-to-end persistence, the ad hoc networking and the built-in security that are part and parcel of the new infrastructure.”

Command Information has a roll-up strategy to acquire other companies to form an IPv6 professional services firm. Command Information has already purchased two companies: Digital Focus and Native6.

Digital Focus is a 10-year-old firm that specializes in software development and integration services using the Agile process. Located in Reston, Va., Digital Focus has 75 employees and enterprise clients that include AOL, General Motors and Fannie Mae.

Native6 is an IPv6 training company in Seattle that was founded in 2001. Native6’s customers include Cisco, HP and all four branches of the U.S. military services. Command Information acquired all of Native6’s intellectual property and hired its staff. It plans to open a training facility in the Washington, D.C. area soon.

Command Information expects to make additional acquisitions in 2006.

“In 2006, we’ll be rolling up several good profitable companies and infusing them with IPv6,” Patterson says. “Our future acquisitions will include network management companies, Defense contracting companies and information security companies. We’re looking primarily at professional services firms.”

Patterson says Command Information is one of the biggest venture capital plays in the IPv6 market in the U.S.

“Having The Carlyle Group invest this kind of money in this space will make a lot of industry watchers take notice,” he says. “We anticipate several more rounds of investment.”

“IPv6 is vital to the future competitiveness of industry and government,” Charles Rossotti, senior partner at Carlyle, said in a statement. “We have invested in Command Information to help organizations realize the benefits that come from this next generation technology.”

Command Information is targeting the federal government market because it has a mandate to move to IPv6 by 2008. In the commercial market, the transportation industry is emerging as a potential early adopter of IPv6, which has new features that support wireless applications.

“We’re seeing the most interest in IPv6 in verticals that have something to do with mobility,” Patterson says. “That includes the trucking industry, mobile phones and supply chain. The common denominator for the early adopters is that they move stuff in boxes, trucks or cars.”

Developed by the IETF, IPv6 promises easier administration, tighter security and an enhanced addressing scheme when compared to IPv4, the Internet’s current protocol. IPv6, which uses a 128-bit addressing scheme, supports a virtually limitless number of uniquely identified systems on the ‘Net, while IPv4 uses a 32-bit addressing scheme and supports only a few billion systems.