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Summit Partners Pours $96M Into Casa Systems

Jeff Baumgartner
5/21/2010
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A Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) document reveals that cable modem termination system (CMTS) startup Casa Systems Inc. netted $96 million in funding from Summit Partners .

Summit Partners announced its minority investment in Casa in April but didn't disclose the figure. A subsequent SEC filing, made on May 10, tagged that number at $96.46 million.

A portion of that is likely being used to pay off SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC), which divested its nearly 20 percent stake in the Andover, Mass.-based maker of CMTS and edge QAM gear in April for $34.1 million. (See SeaChange Sheds Stake in Casa Systems.)

So, what's next for Casa now that it has fresh money in the bank, deployments with UPC Broadband and Ziggo B.V. in Europe, and looks to score well in China as that nation's cable operators get ready for some massive broadband upgrades?

The new money and those opportunities suggest that Casa may decide to go solo, with an expected two-year window to make its mark. However, Infonetics Research Inc. directing analyst of broadband and video Jeff Heynen speculated earlier this week that Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. may still take a run at the CMTS upstart. Those firms, in addition to Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), are among some of the companies that are believed to have taken a look at Casa over a period of several months. (See Open House at Casa Systems?)

But what does Casa think of all this speculation? Its answer: Don't make any rash assumptions.

"Regarding going forward strategy, we will continue to leverage our technology and price leadership to grow our revenue and market share," Casa CEO Jerry Guo told Light Reading Cable in an email sent Friday. "We are not making any assumptions on exit strategy."

Before founding Casa, Guo was VP of broadband technologies at RiverDelta Networks, another CMTS startup that Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) bought for $300 million in 2001.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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