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Eric the Intransa Gent

The former king of 3Com has popped up as chairman of a stealth mode IP storage startup

Eric Benhamou, former president and CEO of 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) has popped up as Chairman of the Board at Intransa, a stealthy storage networking startup thats reluctant to admit its parentage.

And who can blame it really? 3Com is hardly the picture of success these days.

While Intransa firmly denies that it's a spin-in or spin-out of 3Com, sources at the old networking giant tell us Intransa was a 3Com idea and actually operated on 3Com's campus in Santa Clara for at least six months.

Now based in the heart of Silicon Valley, in Palo Alto, Intransa intends to stay out of the limelight until the beginning of next year. And it’s done a good job of keeping things quiet so far, considering its location. There’s about as much information around on this company, including on its own Website, to fit on the back of a postage stamp. The executives were reluctant to chat for long, too, but here’s what we dug up.

It's just scored $15 million in a first round of funding from a couple of notable VCs -- Advanced Technology Ventures, its first investment in this sector, and U.S. Venture Partners, which has already dipped its toe into this market with an investment in MaXXan Systems Inc.

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