FlexLight Bags $3M More
You ask: What, someone's buying the stuff?
Well, not just yet. But the company's investors are standing behind the vendor as it works through carrier lab trials in hopes of some future sales.
FlexLight Networks confirms that investors chipped in for $3 million more during the fourth quarter of 2002. "Our insiders did come up with more money and we're in the process of raising a Series B round," says Gary Lee, FlexLight's CEO.
Lee says FlexLight hopes to raise between $10 million and $12 million during the round. Coral Ventures and Concord Ventures have contributed.
Earlier this month, FlexLight announced that its gear for supporting passive optical networks (PONs) operating at greater-than-gigabit speeds was generally available. It has since acknowledged it's finished lab trials with France Telecom SA (NYSE: FTE) -- and Lee says in the next two months the company should have about half a dozen carriers testing its gear (see FT Evaluates FlexLight's GPON).
The company's Optimate gear uses passive splitters to share optical bandwidth among multiple users, avoiding the cost of laying individual fiber links. FlexLight says its gear provides speeds up to 2.5 Gbit/s downstream and up to 1.25 Gbit/s upstream at a range of at least 20 km between switch and user (see Giga-PON Ships Quietly).
FlexLight has 30 employees, mostly engineers based in Israel. "It's phenomenal what they've been able to accomplish," Lee says.
The company's prior funding consisted of an $8.5 million Series A round from Coral and Concord and another $1.5 million on behalf of Israel's Office of the Chief Scientist, the research and development arm of the Israeli Ministry of Trade.
FlexLight competes with Alloptic Inc. and Salira Optical Network Systems Inc., amongst others. — Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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