Calix Gets More Funding
This seventh round of funding comes on top of a reported $250 million that the company has raised since being founded in 1999. Calix did acknowledge getting some funding in the second quarter, but wouldn't divulge any details.
"Given the quality of investors and the size of the investment, I expect an IPO or an acquisition within a year," says Infonetics founder and principal analyst Michael Howard.
Others aren't so sure. "Speculation for the last several months has been that Calix would go public, but that runs contrary to what [CEO Carl] Russo says," notes Current Analysis senior analyst Erik Keith.
Keith says that Russo frequently lauds the competitive advantages of running a private company. In a 2005 interview with Light Reading, Russo said: "If you're public, your numbers are in public, your business model is public. I love quarterly reports because you get a chance to see how your competitors are doing. I'd much prefer them not to see how we're doing." (See Full Transcript of LRTV’s Interview With Carl Russo, CEO, Calix .)
If Calix were using the funds to look at acquisitions, Ethernet-over-copper startup Aktino Inc. is a possible target. The two companies already partner and a combined company might fare better against larger access players such as Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN) and Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA). (See Aktino Lands Calix Partnership.)
Current Analysis's Keith says buying Aktino would give Calix access to Tier 1 customers where it doesn't currently have business. Aktino, he points out, is "gaining traction at AT&T," while Calix has yet to score an RBOC customer. (See AT&T Sets Copper Ethernet Course.)
But the M&A angle has its critics, too. Jeff Heynen of Infonetics says "a lot of people made a bigger deal out of [the Atkino deal] than it actually was." He says the partnership was little more than a "pragmatic business decision to solve an application problem."
Heynen's read on the funding is less scintilating. "I think it's more for product ramp-up and increasing their sales force," he says. "If you look at who's entering the space and who they're going to compete with, they're going to need to expand."
— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading