Light Reading

Caspian Closes Its Doors

Phil Harvey
News Analysis
Phil Harvey
9/14/2006
50%
50%

Caspian Networks Inc. , originally founded as Packetcom in 1998, has shut its doors and ceased operations, according to two sources close to the company.

Caspian, founded by Internet pioneer Dr. Lawrence Roberts, had as many as 323 employees about five-and-a-half years ago, but that number has fluctuated wildly over the company's many fits and starts. Fewer than 100 people remained when the decision was made to shut the doors, a source close to the company says.

Roberts left Caspian in early 2004. Light Reading was the first to report his arrival at Anagran Inc. , where he took the ideas of tracking IP traffic based on flows, in order to provide quality of service (QOS) and load balancing, and applied it to customer premises equipment. (See Roberts' Anagran Plan Draws $8M.) [Ed. note: By the way, "a nag ran" is an anagram for Anagran.]

Caspian made quite a splash in its early days. After raising an $85 million third round of funding -- a round backed by Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. , ABN AMRO 's private equity arm, and others -- many thought the company was destined to be one of the tech industry's next big IPOs. (See Internet Pioneer Plots IP Revolution and Caspian Prepares for an IPO.)

The company's mission was to build one big honkin' core IP router that would allow carriers to provide unprecedented QOS -- even in an all-IP network. But by early 2002, Caspian had washed out all its early investors and was still hungry for cash. (See Washed Out in the Valley.)

Its fourth funding round -- a monster $120 million round -- closed in early 2002. All the while, the company had a revolving door in the CEO's office, and it experienced several rounds of layoffs while waiting for its revolutionary router to scare up a customer. (See Caspian's CEO Suddenly Bolts, Caspian Names New CEO, Caspian Names CEO/Prez/Chairman, and Caspian Starts Fresh With $120M.)

In 2003, Caspian finally explained its router to the world and boasted that it had some 35 carrier trials going on. Indeed, it looked as though the years of hype and the millions invested were starting to pay off. (See Caspian Comes Out.)

Or not.

Some months later, Caspian toned down its core routing rhetoric and followed Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) into the world of helping carriers monitor and control the traffic caused by peer to peer (P2P) networks. (See Caspian Adds P2P Punch.)

In May 2005, Caspian shocked the private equity world again by ringing up another $55 million in funding, bringing its total funding to date to more than $300 million. The company said at the time that it was hoping to become profitable in late 2006.

One last peep out of Caspian came in April, when the company put itself out there as the solution for the network neutrality debate. In a clever bit of marketing, the company invented the Fair Use Policy Framework, a fancy way of describing the process of allocating different bandwidth thresholds to different services. (See Caspian Plays Fair.)

First core routing. Then P2P networking. Then net neutrality. Investors apparently put the kibosh on the company before it crow-barred itself into another communications fad. [Ed. note: "Gosh, that's the largest gaming console I've ever seen!"] Light Reading's calls to several Caspian investors weren't returned. Calls to Caspian's CEO Brad Wurtz were not returned by press time, so it's yet unclear how far along the company is in its closure or whether any bidders have emerged for its intellectual property. Calls to industry analysts were met with uncomfortable silence in one case, and stifled laughter in another.

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

(35)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 4   >   >>
netphilic
50%
50%
netphilic,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:40:55 AM
re: Caspian Closes Its Doors
Someone should learn from Caspian, how to fire CEO, employee n' number of times :(
reoptic
50%
50%
reoptic,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:40:55 AM
re: Caspian Closes Its Doors
It tolls for core routing VCs.
opticalwatcher
50%
50%
opticalwatcher,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:40:54 AM
re: Caspian Closes Its Doors
Didn't Caspian once win a contract with the Defense Department to build orbiting routers?

Wasn't there some news release about a Caspian win in Asia in the last week or so?
Meister
50%
50%
Meister,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:40:54 AM
re: Caspian Closes Its Doors
Just another Larry Roberts special. Zero for how many the past 20 years?
startup_shutup
50%
50%
startup_shutup,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:40:53 AM
re: Caspian Closes Its Doors
Ed. note: "Gosh, that's the largest gaming console I've ever seen!"

This is the best quote ... many company products in Silly Con Valley could be described with this apt comment!!
ozip
50%
50%
ozip,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:40:52 AM
re: Caspian Closes Its Doors
A story as old as time. Even before we had core routers for the Internet, we had high end routers/bridges for scores of failed companies. But if your keeping track, do a rough tally of the failures and compare that with the how much was sold (say using Dello numbers). When you dissect the market for routers specifically tarketed at the core, the prize for winning was never that big or big enough to go around.

Is Avici one customer away from the same fate?

OZIP
oemarket_com
50%
50%
oemarket_com,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:40:52 AM
re: Caspian Closes Its Doors
If the $300million spent on Caspian were given to R&D projects in universities and research institutions, much more intellectual properties would have been generated than what they have now at Caspian.
It is obvious that half-cooked ideas should be kept in the university lab as long as possible.
Lite Rock
50%
50%
Lite Rock,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:40:52 AM
re: Caspian Closes Its Doors
Ouch That Hurtz!!
dave@dwdmr.com
50%
50%
dave@dwdmr.com,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:40:51 AM
re: Caspian Closes Its Doors
Startup

You are like an old broken down LP record that is stuck on replay. Your negativity is never ending, it can not be quantified, it is of epic proportions. It reaches into every recess like a foul ordour. Enough already.

Caspian tried mightily and they failed. As an emigrant from Ireland I know that the ability to fail, sometimes repeatedly, yet to continue to strive and have the opportunity to be sucessful after these failures is seen as one of America's gretest strengths.

Better to have tried and failed than never tried at all. After all you could end stuck in a grounhog day moment like you appear to be which seems a much sorrier state.

So Shutup "SHUTUP!"
startup_shutup
50%
50%
startup_shutup,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:40:51 AM
re: Caspian Closes Its Doors
>> It is obvious that half-cooked ideas should be kept in the university lab as long as possible.

In USA we have FALSE ECONOMY (based on people selling overpriced houses to each other) ...

Naturally there would be FALSE companies in this SCAM environment ....
Page 1 / 4   >   >>
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Networks of the future will rely on "white box" switches and servers rather than proprietary hardware and that's going to alter the shape of the communications industry. Who says so? John Chambers.
LRTV Custom TV
The Benefits of HyperScale Clouds for NFV

3|27|15   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Hyperscale cloud has been developed by the Internet giants to support the creation and delivery of software-based services at blistering speeds, and at the lowest possible cost. The original ETSI NFV vision was to adopt hyperscale cloud architecture and practices. This vision has become somewhat obscured along the way, due to misunderstandings about the hyperscale ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
eLTE Rapid Meets the Need for Speed

3|26|15   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


Designed especially for emergency and dedicated ad hoc local mobile communications coverage, Huawei's eLTE Rapid solution can deliver trunked voice, video and data coverage for multiple users over a 6km range and be set up in just 15 minutes, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
On Videos: Challenges & Opportunities

3|26|15   |   5:56   |   (0) comments


Most everything is now connected. And along with 4K and 4G technologies, everyone could be creating and broadcasting video contents. Users are expecting better video experience with any screen, anywhere and anytime. Operators will meet new challenges, but also see some big opportunities.
LRTV Custom TV
JDSU: Delivering Dynamic Networks for a Personalized Experience

3|26|15   |   5:59   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks to JDSU at Mobile World Congress 2015 about new solutions in the areas of HetNets, VoLTE, backhaul, virtualization, big data analytics, and real-time intelligence.
LRTV Custom TV
Smarter Service Chaining & New Ways to Benefit From Qosmos Technology

3|25|15   |   03:11   |   (0) comments


David Le Goff, director of strategic and product marketing at Qosmos, explains how the company has added application awareness to subscriber information to make service chaining more efficient and reduce costs for networking and infrastructure. In addition, Qosmos technology, which has been delivered as C libraries, is now also available as a virtual machine, ...
Between the CEOs
Qosmos CEO: The Changing Face of DPI

3|24|15   |   13:53   |   (0) comments


LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures. Also, how the comms market is becoming more like the automotive industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FC Schalke Scores With Its Agile Stadium

3|24|15   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Top German soccer club FC Schalke 04 has deployed a new, agile WiFi network from Huawei in its Veltins-Arena stadium and is reaping the benefits in terms of customer satisfaction and business opportunities, explains marketing chief Alexander Jobst.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Insights on Mobile Video

3|24|15   |   7:51   |   (0) comments


More people than ever are now watching videos on smartphones. Seventy percent of mobile traffic will be video traffic until 2018. In this video, Huawei's exports give their insights on mobile video in terms of business model, network planning and 4G network construction.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Industry 4.0

3|24|15   |   02:26   |   (9) comments


Are you ready for the fourth industrial revolution? It's a big deal for influential operators such as Deutsche Telekom.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Getting Connected With eLTE

3|23|15   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Trunked radio communications have entered the 4G LTE world, and with Huawei's eLTE solution, can now deliver a full range of data and video services as well as push-to-talk voice, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Funkwerk’s on Track With Huawei

3|19|15   |   3:23   |   (0) comments


GSM-R technology specialist Funkwerk and Huawei have forged a partnership that is benefiting both parties, notes Funkwerk's Gottfried Winter.
LRTV Documentaries
How EANTC Tested Cisco's Virtualization Solutions

3|18|15   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Carsten Rossenhövel, managing director of independent test lab EANTC, tells Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the innovative approach his team had to take when validating Cisco's service provider virtualization and cloud solutions.
Upcoming Live Events
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
AT&T Woos SMBs With Small-Scale WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/26/2015
The Rise of Industry 4.0
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 3/24/2015
Google Hires Wall Street's Most Influential Woman as CFO
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/24/2015
Just Don't Say IBM Is 'Relaunching' Networking Business
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 3/26/2015
Average US Broadband Speeds No Great Shakes
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.
Cats with Phones
Interspecies Phone Love Click Here
"No, you hang up."
"No, YOU hang up."
Latest Comment