Multiservice provisioning platform vendor couldn't convince investors to keep it going

June 19, 2003

2 Min Read
Metro-Optix Pulls the Plug

ALLEN, Texas -- Metro-Optix Inc. has said it will cease operations today after failing to convince its investors that it could secure a Tier 1 carrier customer or a strategic partnership with a larger vendor.

"Our investors decided they couldn't put any more money in the company," says a company spokesperson. "The shame of it is that we have about 16 customers running live traffic, and we did have revenue coming in the door. We were finally at a point where we really started feeling good about our product. Our customers were raving about us at Supercomm."

Metro-Optix started as a spinoff of LM Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY) in 1999 and has raised about $155 million in funding to date. The company is in the process of letting go its employees in two foreign countries -- about 30 in India and about 114 in Texas.

Its investors include JPMorgan Partners, InterWest Partners, Sevin Rosen Funds, CenterPoint Venture Partners, BlueStream Ventures, J&W Seligman & Co., Wasatch Venture Fund, and others.

This week the company will seek help in selling its assets and intellectual property. It will keep some technical support on staff for a few weeks to help customers, and it may offer its finished goods inventory to those carriers for "pennies on the dollar," the spokesperson says.

Though employees were notified of the company's impending closure on Wednesday, CEO Dave Orr and other executives were up late last night and early this morning courting a last-minute investor, but they couldn't come to an agreement, a spokesperson says.

It is still likely that Metro-Optix might sell to a competitor for cheap, however. "At the last minute, we've had strategic investors coming out of the woodwork. But as far as we're concerned, the plug's been pulled."

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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