Corona Networks Scores $40M

Corona Networks Inc. is scheduled to announce today (9/27) the closing of a $40 million funding round, proof that some investors still think there's money to be made in the telecommunications hardware business.

Led by Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. Ventures and New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Corona's third round of funding should be enough to see the company through to "a quarter or two of revenue," according to Ramandeep Singh, Corona's president and CEO.

Corona is developing an aggregation and IP services switch, called the ISP 12000 (see Corona Intros IP Service Platform), for the network edge market. Though not scheduled to ship until early next year, Corona says the ISP 12000 is already in trials with four carriers, which Singh declined to name, assuring only that, "They're very large carriers."

They would have to be, being that the ISP 12000 will likely cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per box. Though none of the carriers have signed pledges to buy the product, Singh says the trials are "a good first step" toward eventual revenues.

"We're very confident we'll have customers," says Singh, who believes the network edge will be among the first markets to see any pickup in capital expenditures.

"We've talked to the largest carriers, and they have spending plans in place for the [network] edge," Singh says. "Their cutbacks have mostly been in long-haul. The edge is where we expect to see a lot of [buying] activity." Additionally, he says, the latest round of cash gives Corona enough funding to get through developing and shipping the ISP 12000, a process Corona hopes to reach by early next year.

Tom McConnell, general partner at NEA, says he will likely take over as Corona's chairman, replacing Steve Pearse. Pearse, a friend of Corona co-founder Raj Singh, is currently a more active chairman with Inara Networks Inc., another startup (see Ex-Cyras CEO Joins Roshnee Spinoff) in the Raj Singh stable. McConnell, who says his firm has invested a total of $27.2 million in Corona to date, adds that he "really believes in this team," calling them a "focused group" with a solid core of engineers and executives.

McConnell says Corona's ability to secure carrier trials was "an important milestone" for the company's investors. "We're confident that this latest round will get [Corona] to revenue shipments, and maybe even cashflow break even." McConnell also praised Corona's ability to stretch budgets. "Every dollar this company has had has been well spent," he says.

The ISP 12000, according to Corona, is designed for central office or points-of-presence deployment, between carriers' edge access and core backbone connections. Though the company's website claims that the ISP 12000 can support interfaces from 10/100 Ethernet through OC-192, the fastest links available by early 2002 will only be at OC-48, according to Alex Henthorn, Corona's senior director of product management. Henthorn says support for higher speeds will be added over time. Corona also claims that the ISP 12000 will offer built-in firewall and VPN support.

- Paul Kapustka, Editor at Large, Light Reading

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John Casper 12/4/2012 | 7:47:32 PM
re: Corona Networks Scores $40M
What do the valuation of a company and number of stocks and how they spend their money has to do with the capability of engineering team and the quality of the product?

All I said that they have a very good team that has delivered a very good product - functionally perhaps one of the best in the industry. There is no denying that they have executed well in which many others fail. They have a high performance box for IP services market which appears far better than any other product underdevelopment that I am aware of. They still have to prove the market acceptance of the product as of yet they have not announced any purchase orders.

If you have any personal grudge against anyone - you don't have to ill speak against hardwork of hundreds of professionals like you for the sake of it.

77thlightguy 12/4/2012 | 7:47:31 PM
re: Corona Networks Scores $40M Let's see: Their CEO took a dive to another start-up, they put in a VC that has never run a company before. No new investors on the list. I guess the answer to your question is: not enough to justify any new investors, more than enough already invested to triage. Big red hot soldering iron with all the bells and whistles...catch!
broadbandboy 12/4/2012 | 7:47:31 PM
re: Corona Networks Scores $40M Can anyone direct me to a good evaluation of these so-called IP service platforms? No company white papers please.

I don't understand why anyone would invest in this area at this time. What can they do that a good router can't?

smok_n_mirz 12/4/2012 | 7:47:31 PM
re: Corona Networks Scores $40M Most of the engineering group are very green and inexperienced people. I have been in a couple of startups and I would rank this group towards the bottom.

And the product is very immature at this stage... Mostly vision and promises. They have entered their first trial, but it has just barely started. I would be surprised if the product was ready for GA by 3rd QTR 2002.

hiddentiger 12/4/2012 | 7:47:23 PM
re: Corona Networks Scores $40M Actually Merrill Lynch Ventures is a new investor- and it appears that most of the past investors put more money in as well.
Rockhead 12/4/2012 | 7:47:19 PM
re: Corona Networks Scores $40M hiddentiger,

do you happen to know how much merrill lynch ventures invested?
77thlightguy 12/4/2012 | 7:47:14 PM
re: Corona Networks Scores $40M If ML did not take the lions share, and lead the round, it is meaningless do-me-a-favor investing. Did ML lead? No, they did not. Somebody just paid off a Golf bet. Give us some credit for been there done that.
hiddentiger 12/4/2012 | 7:47:01 PM
re: Corona Networks Scores $40M If you believe this- $10M.
spanishguy 12/4/2012 | 7:46:36 PM
re: Corona Networks Scores $40M Can anyone direct me to a good evaluation of these so-called IP service platforms? No company white papers please

The ATM Report, see

Hope this is what you are looking for

broadbandboy 12/4/2012 | 7:46:25 PM
re: Corona Networks Scores $40M "The ATM Report, see

Hope this is what you are looking for


Thanks spanish guy, but I can't get in without password - do you know a free link?

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