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India's VC Race Boosts Telsima

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading

India's evolving telecom industry is beginning to yield its own startups, and these are increasingly attractive to foreign venture capitalists. (See India's Telecom Startups Reel in Cash.)

Last week yielded a major example of this phenomenon as Telsima Corp. has raised $20 million in Series C financing. (See Telsima Banks $20M.)

Led by NewPath Ventures LLC, the round included new investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), CMEA Ventures, and Jafco Asia. NewPath's Vinod Dham, considered "Father of the Pentium" from his days at Intel, is Telsima's chairman.

Telsima says it's developing WiMax-ready broadband wireless access equipment and carrier Ethernet transport gear "at disruptive cost points" that make it affordable for the Indian market.

The company's WiMax kit is going through field trials and certification during this quarter and the first quarter of 2006. Light Reading tried for two days to reach Telsima officials, but we couldn't get them to add further comment as this article was published.

WiMax technologies, which are currently going through the certification process by the WiMAX Forum, are being heralded as the ideal way to bring broadband to emerging markets like densely populated India. (See A Dash of WiMax Reality.) Using system-on-a-chip-based design with smart antenna and RF systems, Telsima is selling its equipment as a way for operators to deploy non-line-of-sight wireless broadband services in dense urban and rural environments.

Telsima's OptiFlow line of multiservice access boxes allows carriers to offer Ethernet services as India and other emerging markets join the migration to IP. The company also supplies DCME voice compression equipment for mobile networks and call centers.

NewPath Ventures is focused on cross-border startups that develop hardware and embedded software and has set up an office in Bangalore to administer the $250 million it's raising for early-stage funding in Indian companies.

Telsima is one such cross-border venture: Although it's headquarted in Santa Clara, Calif., its engineering team is in Bangalore, while sales, marketing, and customer support are in New Delhi. It also has development centers in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Boxborough, Mass.

— Nicole Willing, Reporter, Light Reading

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