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Motorola Gets Tighter With Turin

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) has made a stealth investment in Turin Networks Inc., according to sources close to both companies.

The amount of the funding is unknown, but it’s been confirmed that Motorola made a significant investment in the startup earlier this year. In addition, sources say the funding round is still open, meaning Turin may be looking to raise more money. The company has already raised a total of $130 from a range of top-tier investors that include Doll Capital Management (DCM), Sequoia Capital, and individual investor Don Green (see Green Gooses AFC).

The news indicates the two companies are tightening the relationship that began in June 2002, when Motorola agreed to resell Turin’s products, which include a line of metro networking gear that combines the functions of a Sonet ADM and Ethernet switch. The products are geared toward independent carriers and cable operators, primarily in rural areas (see Motorola Deal Plugs In Turin).

Turin is already shipping product for revenues and has more than 30 customers, according to company officials. The bulk of the customers are regional independent carriers such as Vermont Telephone. The Motorola deal could be crucial in pushing the startup towards its stated goal of profitability by the end of the year.

The deal comes at a time when it’s become increasingly important for smaller startups to forge partnerships with large OEMs that can aid with critical sales, service, and support help. Turin currently has about 150 employees, down from a high of about 200.

Don Green, a venture capitalist, founder of Advanced Fibre Communications Inc. (AFC) (Nasdaq: AFCI), and a major investor in Turin, said he is still waiting for results from the deal, but he is optimistic about the relationship.

"Motorola has to get its people trained and skilled at selling the product,” saysGreen, who is on Turin's board of directors. “So far, they've had little or no impact on revenues. But they have invested, and they have signed up for a distribution that could be quite significant."

Motorola had not returned phone calls by press time.

— R. Scott Raynovich, US Editor, and Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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bigbangtheory 12/5/2012 | 12:03:36 AM
re: Motorola Gets Tighter With Turin With all the seemingly positive news from Turin, they are still having layoffs. 25 more let go yesterday in their 4th RIF. I would guess they are closer to 100 than 150 at this point.
OpticalHannibal 12/5/2012 | 12:03:31 AM
re: Motorola Gets Tighter With Turin I dont know who is behind this news item. I dont think Turin-Motorola deal is heading South or even without direction. Its just a marketing gimmick.

Motorola is neither comitted nor interested nor comitted to sell Turin's box. Though their deal is more than 1 yr old, they didnt sell even a single box.

Read Don Green's comments.

If Motorola-Turin deal is going good, why would Turin lay off a Sr Director who is the interface between Turin and Motorola.

I 'm sure they would close by this X-Mas and who knows, Turins existing customers if any, can get Turins box (Chinese version) in Shanghai for half the price, as most of their key staff sit in China for 3/4 of their time.
next-gen-wisdom 12/5/2012 | 12:03:26 AM
re: Motorola Gets Tighter With Turin If Motorola and Turin 1yr. old deal is so great, why Turin still not close to profitability?

Why the layoffs? Why they're almost giving free their "super mega duper" box?

Hey Turin ... make the inventory and sale what you can, next year you guys won't be here posting marketing articles like this.
gameoverman 12/5/2012 | 12:03:24 AM
re: Motorola Gets Tighter With Turin single mode - who is maestro yim - and what do you mean - is he still a "donut". I never heard that expression before.

thx
single mode figure 12/5/2012 | 12:03:24 AM
re: Motorola Gets Tighter With Turin What about the Maestro Yim, is he still a donut?
single mode figure 12/5/2012 | 12:03:24 AM
re: Motorola Gets Tighter With Turin What about the Maestro Yim, is he still a donut?
alchemy 12/5/2012 | 12:03:19 AM
re: Motorola Gets Tighter With Turin OpticalHannibal writes:
Though their deal is more than 1 yr old, they didnt sell even a single box.

and

If Motorola-Turin deal is going good, why would Turin lay off a Sr Director who is the interface between Turin and Motorola.

If I had a troll on my staff who was responsible for a major OEM account the OEM account didn't sell a single box, I doubt the troll would have lasted a year.
single mode figure 12/5/2012 | 12:03:16 AM
re: Motorola Gets Tighter With Turin Not to cryptic, Philip Yim, a founder, and around like a donut...
OpticalHannibal 12/5/2012 | 12:03:07 AM
re: Motorola Gets Tighter With Turin JP is good. He is a good director. But others in
the team,who made it happen needs credit too. If
JP would have stuffed the first Silicon team with
his buddies from East to West coast, Turin would
have closed in Dec 2000. Probably he is a good
director because, he realized that and gave
Swedes free hand and didnt allow his buddies
to finger them, either because JP is smart or he
might have felt that even if he did, it doesnt
go well with higher management, as Swedes grew
beyond him. He couldnt do anything with Swedes.
Neither he was able to put in a fourth guy in
their team nor could assign each of the swedes
in different projects.They couldnt be touched by JP. He couldn't even make them to report to their assigned manager,leave alone laying them off.
Does it make him a great Manager ? Hmmm.

Swedes virtually didn't allow any fourth guy's
code into their projects. Even if there is a
fourth guy working on a block, it never made it
into the final chip. They always felt that it
woud contaminate it and they are true and they
proved it more than one occassion right from the
first project they worked on.
BobbyMax 12/5/2012 | 12:02:57 AM
re: Motorola Gets Tighter With Turin Turin has good and reliable products for the acees and metro markets. Turin has developed about 30 customers, but it needs intensive marketing efforts to promote its products. In this regard Motorola is a good partner but its workforce needs to be trained.
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