Light Reading
Combining forces under the name Apogee, the startups aim for the 10-Gig laser market

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
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
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
From 4G to 5G: Alcatel-Lucent's Dave Geary

11|25|14   |   09:09   |   (1) comment


Dave Geary, President of Wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, talks about the evolution of the 4G market, small cells, partnerships, 5G and the IoT.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Secure Telefonica Network With Huawei's High-End Firewall

11|24|14   |   4:37   |   (0) comments


Andrew Davies, IP architect of the Telefonica, a leading digital communications company, discusses the Huawei security gateway solution and putting the solution into the testbed.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partners with Spirent to Verify CE12816's 10GE Port & TRILL Networking Capabilities

11|24|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Spirent Communications is the world's leading supplier for telecom testing appliances and solutions. Spirent has been in a close partnership with Huawei for a long time.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Airlines & Its ICT Transformation

11|24|14   |   2:07   |   (0) comments


In this video, Saudi Airlines discusses its network problems and how Huawei's Agile Network is its all-in-one solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Switch Benefiting Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital

11|24|14   |   2:40   |   (0) comments


Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital speaks about how Huawei's Agile Switch has improved the medical service's network infrastructure.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FanPlay & Huawei Build a Wireless Agile Smart Stadium

11|24|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


FanPlay is a cloud-based white label service, which is effectively a football fan engagement platform underpinned by mobile payment technology.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building an Agile Stadium

11|24|14   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Stadiums may be thousands of tons of concrete and steel, but they now need to be agile. Being at the stadium may not be as alluring as it once was. Sports franchises and stadium operators discuss how to get fans back.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Helps ChinaCache Tackle Challenges in the Internet Industry

11|24|14   |   3:09   |   (0) comments


ChinaCache is China's largest content distribution network supplier. Huawei's CE12800 has provided ChinaCache with very strong support in its establishment of an infrastructure network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Cefinity on Managed Security Services & Next-Generation Firewall

11|24|14   |   7:05   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a cloud management service provider in Southeast Asia. Ivan Zhang, CEO of the company, discusses the implementation of security service management in the cloud era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Gateway in the Eyes of Cefinity

11|24|14   |   2:11   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a managed service provider for enterprise networks. The company currently uses Huawei's AR series routers for the most complete range of functions. CEO Ivan Zhang speaks about the advantages of the AR series routers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
CTO of Bus-Online Talks About Huawei's Agile Gateway

11|24|14   |   2:53   |   (0) comments


Bus-Online covers around 100 million users everyday. In addition to providing mobile TV, and advertising services to the public, Bus-Online has also entered the field of mobile Internet.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Amsterdam ArenA as an Agile Campus

11|24|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Amsterdam ArenA, home of the Ajax soccer team, can be a crowded space. ArenA has partnered with Huawei to work on bringing ample bandwidth to 53,000 people at the same time.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
$38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
Operators Should Block Ads to Get Their Cut, Startup Says
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/24/2014
$35B+ Spectrum Auction Dings Verizon, Shines Dish
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/24/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed