For months, analysts have speculated that the startup was in dire straits, especially after a late-2002 layoff. More recently, emails and phone calls -- including those placed by Light Reading -- have gone unanswered.
A visit yesterday to the Fremont, Calif., headquarters revealed no signs of life. Furniture and office equipment were still in place, but the front desk was vacant, and all lights were off save one bank of fluorescents above a central block of cubicles. No cars were parked anywhere near the company's front door.
In an email, analyst Linley Gwennap of The Linley Group says the company fell into the death spiral that's claimed many a network-processor startup.
"The sad thing is that they got the chip to work, but they couldn't find any customers (no one would commit to a startup with no cash) or funding (no one would fund a company with no customers)," he writes. [Ed. note: Or perhaps it was that name...] The company's exact status remains unclear. It may still be in business, albeit in hibernation (see Bear Market Inspires Hibernation). Or it's possible the company is in shoestring mode, with executives trying to find buyers for the assets, as is happening with Fast-Chip Inc. (see Fast-Chip Flees the Market).
Cognigine's last funding came in 2001, a $22.5 million round from investors including Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Lucent Venture Partners Inc., and Wasserstein Adelson Ventures LLP (see Startup Spins Novel Network Processor).
— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading