Light Reading

ASIP, T-Networks Reach Apogee

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
7/26/2005
50%
50%

Laser manufacturer ASIP Inc. added to its M&A resume today by acquiring T-Networks Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

The combined company will go by the name Apogee Photonics Inc. and is getting $9.7 million in funding as a launch gift. Investors participating include Atlas Venture, BlueRun Ventures, Finaventures, and Redpoint Ventures from the ASIP side; TL Ventures from the T-Networks side; and Intel Capital, which had invested in both companies (see ASIP Merges With T-Networks).

An apogee is the point where a planet or moon is furthest away in its orbit -- such as when Pluto gets to its furthest point from the sun and becomes even more icy, desolate, and hopeless. Of course, Apogee has a different spin on the name. "We like to think of it as the apex or the peak," says Mike Decelle, CEO of ASIP and, now, CEO of Apogee.

The deal is billed as a merger, but ASIP would seem to be the acquirer here. The company pulled off a similar trick last year with the acquisition of ThreeFive Photonics B.V., picking up $7.5 million from ThreeFive's investors in the deal (see Survival of the Smallest). While Decelle remains CEO, he says T-Networks will be amply represented in the Apogee executive ranks.

ASIP had raised $31 million to date, including the ThreeFive windfall. T-Networks bagged more than $60 million in three rounds, including a $30.6 million series that closed in 2002 and a $5.75 million dribble earlier this year (see T-Networks Takes In $30.6M and T-Networks Scores $5.75M).

ASIP and T-Networks both sell 10-Gbit/s lasers -- not the full transceivers, just the lasers. The difference is that ASIP targeted moderate reaches with a 1310nm laser, while T-Networks attacked the high-end with 1550nm devices intended for reaches of 80 km and beyond. By combining forces, the companies can cover a larger swath of the 10-Gbit/s space.

Breadth counts for something, because the market for optical lasers and transceivers is so finely segmented among different speeds, different reaches, and different laser types. Companies can choose to be a leader in one segment, but those that can cover more markets might have better long-term prospects, says Tom Hausken, analyst with Strategies Unlimited.

Hausken likens the situation to the recently concluded Tour de France, where Lance Armstrong won his seventh title. "He doesn't win all the stages. Somebody who's a specialist at that particular stage or who wants to go for broke wins the stage, but [in the end] they finish around 100th," Hausken says. "Every company can win a stage, but it's not too many companies that have breadth."

So, who would Apogee compete with? The big-name components suppliers -- Avanex Corp. (Nasdaq: AVNX), Bookham Inc. (Nasdaq: BKHM; London: BHM), JDS Uniphase Corp. (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU), and to some extent -- focus on integrated parts, selling transceivers and laser modules rather than the bare lasers Apogee deals in. While the big companies have their own lasers, Apogee is hoping they'll want to buy higher-performance parts for some applications.

When it comes to the 10-Gbit/s lasers themselves, Apogee will compete with the likes of Covega Corp., Emcore Corp. (Nasdaq: EMKR), Mitsubishi Electric Corp. (Tokyo: 6503), and Modulight Inc.

Competition might also arise from startups applying quantum dots or quantum well intermixing to lasers: Examples include Intense Ltd. and Zia Laser Inc. ThreeFive's technology might give ASIP a shot at this angle, too (see ASIP Connects Quantum Dots).

Apogee officials aren't giving details about headcount, although they admit the usual post-merger layoffs are coming. Decelle says ASIP and T-Networks had roughly the same number of employees and that Apogee will retain a "significant fraction of the total we have today," that total being in the "low triple digits." T-Networks had gone through a rough spot in 2003, shedding a few employees and losing an executive or two, and founder Steve O'Brien left sometime last year (see Headcount: Tossers, Headcount: Memo Minder, and Headcount: Family Time (Reprise)).

Both ASIP and T-Networks owned indium phosphide (InP) fabrication facilities, one of which will be shut down, although Decelle isn't revealing which one. As ASIP was based in Somerset, N.J., and T-Networks in Allentown, Pa., the fabs aren't that far apart.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
deauxfaux
50%
50%
deauxfaux,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:07:15 AM
re: ASIP, T-Networks Reach Apogee
So who bailed on the deal?......USVP, Greylock, Sequoia, Vitesse and InCubic!

Overdue
redface
50%
50%
redface,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:06:58 AM
re: ASIP, T-Networks Reach Apogee
Deauxfaux,

Very insightful observation. Thanks.

Fiber optics business is still brutal.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network functions virtualization (NFV) is not the easiest of topics to take on board, so here's a Light Reading infographic, developed following conversations with the folks at HP, that helps make sense of where NFV is taking the industry.
Hot Topics
AT&T Testing Virtualized GPON
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 5/15/2015
Choosing a Technology Supplier? Consider Changing Your Selection Criteria
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 5/18/2015
Verizon Saves 60% Swapping Copper for Fiber
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/19/2015
Chattanooga Charts Killer Gigabit Apps
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/20/2015
Smarter 'Dumb' TVs Will Drive OTT Adoption
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/18/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
I recently popped down to Texas to chat with CEO Eric L. Pratt about his company, Taqua.
Cats with Phones