Photonic switching systems provider closes $20M fourth round co-led by Sofinnova Ventures, Enterprise Partners, and TeleSoft Partners

January 12, 2004

2 Min Read

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Calient Networks, the leading provider of intelligent photonic switching systems and software, today announced it has completed its fourth funding round, raising $20 million to continue and extend its product leadership. The new financing reasserts investor confidence in Calient as network equipment markets gradually recover, and raises the total capital invested in Calient to over a quarter of a billion dollars.

New investor Sofinnova Ventures co-led the round with existing investors Enterprise Partners and TeleSoft Partners. Existing investors Storm Ventures and Van Wagoner Funds also participated, joined by new investor SDL Ventures. Due to continued interest, the company has scheduled a second closing in March 2004 to accommodate other interested investors, for up to $10 million.

“We did very extensive due diligence and have high confidence in Calient’s market leadership and ability to generate a solid return on this investment,” said Alain Azan, General Partner with Sofinnova Ventures. “We believe that the market will demand a carrier class all-optical switch with the performance and networking capability that only Calient can offer.”

In the past eighteen months, Calient has successfully adapted its photonic switch to meet the dynamic needs of the global telecommunications, research and governmental network markets with switching systems and subsystems. Its award-winning switching fabric remains the only carrier-class 3D MEMS photonic core commercially proven and deployed in live networks. Calient’s systems are carrying live traffic in two carrier networks and two educational/government networks. The company shipped a number of additional systems for revenue in late 2003.

“Calient is a sustainable market leader,” stated Bill Stensrud, Managing Partner of New Enterprise Partners. “This investment, which will be the final private round, will take the company to profitability, and signals the venture community’s confidence in Calient’s long-term success.” Arjun Gupta, Managing Partner of TeleSoft Partners, added "Calient's recent execution, that will be demonstrated when they announce their latest customer wins, has been very impressive. We believe Calient will be the technology and market leader in pure optical switching -- developing an optical switch of this complexity from scratch would be a $100-200 million project."

“We were first to deliver and are now the leading player in photonic switching,” emphasized Calient co-founder and CEO Charles Corbalis. “Our team has made enormous investments in bringing all-optical technology to a state of technical maturity enabling live network deployment, and in proving the ability of fully photonic switches to meet the next generation requirements for network switching, rapid set-up and reconfiguration needs.”

Don Scifres, founder of SDL Ventures, renowned optical innovator and 2003 IEEE Robert N. Noyce Medal winner for laser technology achievements, further observed, "We are very impressed with Calient's technology. As Internet traffic continues to grow, the need for all-optical switching will become more and more acute."

Calient Networks Inc.

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