BrightLink, White Rock Cut Jobs
About the only thing both venture-backed companies have in common is that neither company has publicly announced a long-term carrier contract to date.
BrightLink, the core optical switch maker, fired 27 people on March 16, according to a source close the company who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Employees were told that the layoffs came as a condition of BrightLink's investors, who were about to supply the company with a $2 million bridge loan so it could maintain operations.
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.
The company's headcount stood at about 100 as of October 2001 (see BrightLink Cuts to the Bone). Executives for BrightLink, through a spokesperson, refused to comment on the layoffs.
White Rock Networks, maker of a "stackable" multiservice provisioning platform (MSPP), confirmed that it cut about 60 people, roughly 30 percent of its staff, last Wednesday. The company gave those cut a "small severance" and pay for unused vacation time, according to Andrew Knott, White Rock's VP of marketing.
The layoffs were companywide, with the slightest cuts coming in engineering and customer service, Knott says. The cuts haven't substantially set back White Rock's OC192 product, which should be in general availability in July, he says.
"The reasons for this are obvious -- we want to stretch out our cash as far as possible," he says.
White Rock Networks raised some $60 million last year, which brought its total funding to about $102 million (see White Rock Feeds on More Funding).
The company claims it has shipped to some unnamed carrier customers for revenues. Knott says it has also booked revenues via its relationship with Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA) (see Tellabs Takes a New Tack).
— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading