Danielle Royston's Skyvera makes $18M bid for Casa's wireless biz

Skyvera, the company tied to Danielle Royston, made a surprise $18 million bid for Casa Systems' wireless business. But how that bid might impact Verizon – Casa's main wireless customer – is unclear.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies

April 23, 2024

4 Min Read
Danielle Royston
Royston.(Source: Reuters/Alamy Stock Photo)

Skyvera has made an $18 million bid for Casa Systems' bankrupt wireless business.

The bid upends Casa's initial bankruptcy plan to sell its wireless business to Lumine Group for $15 million. And the bid has significant implications for Verizon because Casa provides Verizon with multi-access edge computing (MEC) services that essentially allow Verizon's private wireless enterprise customers to put a version of Verizon's core network directly onto their corporate campus.

Verizon accounts for fully 80% of the revenues in Casa's wireless business. Moreover, edge computing and private wireless have emerged as a key element in Verizon's overall growth story.

Skyvera is the company that operates the telecom software companies that TelcoDR acquires. The "DR" in TelcoDR stands for Danielle Royston, the company's founder and CEO. Royston confirmed to Light Reading that Skyvera is making a bid for Casa but did not respond to follow-up questions on the topic.

After leaving the CEO spot at Optiva in 2020, Royston made a splash in the wireless industry in 2021 by announcing a $1 billion fund to buy and develop telecom software. That money has so far been used to acquire Totogi in 2021 and STL and Kandy in 2023.

Now Casa's wireless business may be up next.

Competing bids

Skyvera's bid for Casa's wireless business is being shepherded by Neeraj Gupta, Skyvera's chief investment officer. 

"Skyvera acquires operating telecommunication software businesses and products, which it integrates into its existing portfolio by providing technical support, product innovation, and a path for leveraging the power of the public cloud," Gupta explained in Casa's bankruptcy filings.

Gupta first joined Trilogy – part of the Skyvera Group – in 1995. Both Trilogy and ESW Capital were founded by Joseph Liemandt. As Light Reading previously reported, Royston's main source of funding appears to be ESW Capital and Liemandt.

In an audio recording of a Casa bankruptcy court meeting that was held on Friday, Gupta and Skyvera are identified as part of ESW Capital.

"We are for real," Gupta said during that Friday meeting. "We know what we're doing."

He said on Friday that Skyvera had not yet discussed its bid for Casa's business with Verizon. He said Skyvera already has existing business with Verizon.

However, a representative from Casa described Skyvera's bid as higher but not better.

The judge overseeing Casa's bankruptcy proceeding said the court wouldn't immediately take an official stance on Skyvera's bid.

Next steps

Officials from Casa, Lumine and Skyvera either declined to comment to Light Reading or did not respond to requests for comment.

Interestingly, both Lumine and Skyvera appear to have similar approaches to the telecom industry. Both have been working to purchase troubled telecom companies – and both have been busy.

During 2023, Lumine acquired telecom messaging company Openwave, network inventory management company RazorFlow, telecom deployment company SpatialNetworX, programmatic ad company WideOrbit, and NetNumbers' Titan.ium business, which focuses on signaling, routing and subscriber data management.

And, in just the first few months of 2024, Lumine has so far purchased Nokia's device and service management platform business and Synchronoss Technologies' messaging and network logistics businesses.

When Casa first filed for bankruptcy on April 3, the company said it would sell its wireless business to Lumine for $15 million in a deal that was scheduled to close on April 25, 2024. Casa listed $262 million in assets and $316 million in debt at the end of September 2023. Earlier this year, the company tried and failed to obtain more funding from Verizon.

The proceeds from the sale of Casa's wireless business to Lumine are earmarked to complete an auction of Casa's cable business. Vecima Networks has already placed a $20 million stalking-horse bid for Casa's cable business. The bankruptcy court is scheduled to start an auction of Casa's cable business in May 2024. Already, UK-based Technetix told Light Reading it is considering a bid.

About the Author(s)

Mike Dano

Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading

Mike Dano is Light Reading's Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies. Mike can be reached at [email protected], @mikeddano or on LinkedIn.

Based in Denver, Mike has covered the wireless industry as a journalist for almost two decades, first at RCR Wireless News and then at FierceWireless and recalls once writing a story about the transition from black and white to color screens on cell phones.

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