Atul Bansal

A couple of years ago, Atul Bansal was commuting weekly between Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh while he and his partners attempted to get their fledgling company, Laurel Networks, off the ground.

The travel paid off. Now, some high technology investors are betting plenty — about $72 million — that Laurel Networks is going to hit it big.

That’s how much venture capital has flowed into the company, which plans to build edge routers, devices that will untangle telecommunications networks and promise to make telecom companies more profitable.

In June, it began selling its first product, putting several into trials with major telecommunications companies.

At the head of Laurel Networks, with about 130 employees, is Bansal, a former executive with the former Fore Systems, now Marconi plc. Bansal spearheaded the development of router design while working at Digital Equipment Corp.

He is one of six founding partners, all from the former Fore Systems.

Says Rob Coneybeer, a partner in New Enterprise Associates, one of the early venture capital firms that funded Laurel Networks: “This is a team that built a product at Fore that had $1 billion in revenue. The carriers know these guys.”

Ray Marano