Acme Packet Vets Raise $12M for Stealthy Startup, 128 Technology

The entrepreneurs behind one of the biggest corporate buyouts in Boston’s technology sector are getting their team back together with a new startup whose name hints at the region’s critical role in an earlier computing revolution.

Andy Ory and Patrick MeLampy, co-founders of the former IP communication tech company Acme Packet, are listed respectively as the CEO and COO of a new company called 128 Technology, Inc.

The startup surfaced this week in an SEC filing that shows it has raised $12 million from unnamed investors. Reached by phone on Friday, Ory declined to comment on any details behind the company or its fundraising. “We’re in stealth mode,” he said.

Judging by their professional online profiles, however, we do know that 128 Technology is stocked with another half-dozen or so veterans of Acme Packet, which was purchased by Oracle for $2.1 billion in early 2013.

Ory

Ory

Outside of Ory and MeLampy, 128 Technology counts at least four more people who list themselves as co-founders: Chief Software Architect Michael Baj, VP of Engineering Bob Penfield, VP of Product Management Patrick Timmons, and VP of Solutions Architecture Prashant Kumar.

MeLampy refers to this large roster on his own LinkedIn profile, saying that he’s “the co-founder (with 6 other brave souls) of 128 Technology.” (Which means I must be missing a co-founder in my online sleuthing so far.) Several other Acme Packet veterans are also listed as working at the company in engineering or sales jobs.

You’ll just have to guess at exactly what 128 Technology is working on, at least until the principals surface with more details about their new company. Safe to say they have some cash to pay the bills and plenty of talent who have worked together before on a successful venture, which is not a bad thing to have in your corner when starting a new business.

Acme Packet’s story had plenty of twists and turns. It was founded in 2000 and went public in 2006, selling technology that helped telecommunications operators and other large companies manage communications and services over the Internet.

The Bedford, MA-based company suffered during the economic free-fall that preceded the Great Recession, but was able to rebound and in 2011, saw its shares reach about $70 each, giving the company a market capitalization of about $5 billion.

Those good times didn’t last. When Oracle swooped in a couple of years later to add Acme Packet to its technology offerings, it paid about $29 per share. The usual grousing about the Californians taking over another Boston-area tech company followed.

Ory left Oracle in the fall of 2013, saying he was impressed with how Oracle treated Acme Packet after the acquisition but that his entrepreneurial roots weren’t suited to working inside an enormous company like Oracle.

Oh, and about that name. Sure, 128 is the highway that runs past the new startup’s official corporate address in Burlington, MA. But more symbolically, it calls to mind the entire Route 128 corridor, where the giants of an earlier generation of Boston technology grew and thrived—names like Digital Equipment Corporation, Wang, and Data General—before losing out to Silicon Valley in the era of the PC.

128 Technology actually started out this summer with a different moniker. According to state corporation records, until Ory and MeLampy made a switch earlier this month, the company was called Primary Networks II—as in the sequel.

Acme Packet’s original name? You guessed it: Primary Networks.

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  • Not Hadriel

    The missing co-founder is Hadriel Kaplan

    • Ryan Ruel

      So Not Hadriel.