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BrightLink Cuts to the Bone

Optical switch maker BrightLink Networks Inc. cut 20 employees last week, including its CFO and much of its marketing and sales force. BrightLink made the cuts to conserve cash while it prepares its product for general availability, its CEO Paul Schaller told Light Reading on Friday.

"These are tough economic times, and you have to be ready to make these kinds of changes if you need to," Schaller says.

In August, BrightLink said its BOSS 1000 STS-1 grooming switch had achieved Network Equipment Building Systems (NEBS) certification and was being tested by "two major carriers." The company first talked of its carrier trials in late April (see BrightLink Announces Lab Trials). These are big steps for a single-product startup, but they imply that significant revenue from sales might be weeks or months away (see BrightLink's Prospects Brighten ).

BrightLink has raised $113.8 million in venture funding since it began operations in 1998. Its two most recent funding rounds included a $35.8 million round in June 2001 and a $52 million round in April 2000. The company's backers include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Goldman Sachs & Co., Menlo Ventures, and the Sprout Group.

Sources close to BrightLink say its post-money valuation (the value assigned after a company has received funds) approached $500 million in 2000, but harsh economic times drove the company to accept pre-money valuation (value before investment) in the $60 million range during its fund-raising round this summer, forcing massive dilution for previous shareholders (see Valuation Deflation in Startup Land).

In April, BrightLink cut nearly a third of its staff, with Schaller becoming CEO after the company's board ousted Harry Quackenboss. Around that time, BrightLink closed its 18,500 square-foot Texas development center.

The company's headcount has been cut in half since March and now stands at about 100.

This most recent round of layoffs claimed BrightLink's chief financial officer, Leo Quillici; its vice president of marketing, Gary Law; its vice president of human resources, Suzanne Kinner; and its vice president of software development, David Liu, Light Reading has learned.

Without delving into specifics, Schaller says BrightLink's customer trials are "going well" and its product will be available "soon."

- Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com
getalight2001 12/4/2012 | 7:47:36 PM
re: BrightLink Cuts to the Bone This most recent round of layoffs claimed BrightLink's chief financial officer, Leo Quillici; its vice president of marketing, Gary Law; its vice president of human resources, Suzanne Kinner; and its vice president of software development, David Liu, Light Reading has learned.
Without delving into specifics, Schaller says BrightLink's customer trials are "going well" and its product will be available "soon."

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whowhere 12/4/2012 | 7:47:35 PM
re: BrightLink Cuts to the Bone It is still open, albeit there are only a few left, it did not close in April.
JudasPriest 12/4/2012 | 7:47:33 PM
re: BrightLink Cuts to the Bone This space has been eerily quiet. All the startup core players that were shouting so loud between OFC and SUPERCOMM are now silent. What gives?

Also, anyone know *anything* about Axiowave? Their web site is sparse, news is nonexistent. Call them directly and they have a closed-mouth policy. Wierd.
seabizkit 12/4/2012 | 7:47:32 PM
re: BrightLink Cuts to the Bone During July of 1999 I met with Harry Q. He claimed at that time even a fire sale would fetch a Billion, he obviously had from the start sought a Wu-Fu Chen flip.
_____ 12/4/2012 | 7:47:32 PM
re: BrightLink Cuts to the Bone Axiowave is developing a next generation core long haul optical switch. More of a god box than anything. Could have been a great marketing hit 2 years ago but now a days, the thing has to actually work before someone will buy it. And I'm not sure if the axiowave team can pull it off. Go to Red Herring and do a search on Axiowave- you'll see a few quotes from the chattering box himself. And a few companies, like sycamore, who they intend on competing with.
JudasPriest 12/4/2012 | 7:47:30 PM
re: BrightLink Cuts to the Bone That would explain the hush-hush atmosphere. Thanks.
knave 12/4/2012 | 7:47:26 PM
re: BrightLink Cuts to the Bone this pup has always been for sale and would be brutal in the hands of anyone with SONET/DCS installed base, all of whom are obviously still comatose. the box works but timing is everything.....
mumms 12/4/2012 | 7:47:23 PM
re: BrightLink Cuts to the Bone what's the price?
Light 12/4/2012 | 7:47:21 PM
re: BrightLink Cuts to the Bone This is the latest scoop from Jasmine and it's confirmed.

BB 12/4/2012 | 7:47:15 PM
re: BrightLink Cuts to the Bone Does anyone know anything about Clarendon Photonics??? They are into PLC (Planar lightwave circuits) with CMOS. Anything good/bad....?
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