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Ethernet equipment

Atrica Raises $28M More

Startup Atrica Inc. yesterday announced it had sewn up $28 million in funding, raising cash as the battle for carrier Ethernet warms up.

The funding includes $6 million in debt from European Venture Partners (EVP). The remaining $22 million came in a round led by investor GunnAllen Venture Partners and prior investor Vesbridge Partners LLC -- the two lead firms in the round -- and also included Innovacom , Investor Growth Capital , JK&B Capital , and new investor AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). (See Atrica Raises $28M.)

Atrica had raised $170 million since 2000. Its most recent round, for $17 million, came in 2003. (See Atrica Raises More Cash.)

The funding is probably a sign that Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) won't be buying Atrica after all. Atrica was among the several Ethernet-tinged rumors surrounding Juniper, but it now seems Juniper plans to build its own Ethernet gear. (See Juniper Shopping for Atrica? and Juniper Readies Ethernet Launch.)

Atrica has seen some success over the years, particularly with flagship customer Orange (NYSE: FTE) (Innovacom's parent company). But the company hasn't gotten the momentum to go public, nor has it managed to get acquired. The question marks over Atrica were enough to bump it from Light Reading's Top Ten Private Companies recently. (See LR Shakes Up Private Companies List.)

That's partly because competition from established vendors is intensifying. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has always been considered a competitor in metro Ethernet, and Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR) and Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY) have begun targeting carrier Ethernet as well. (See Carrier Ethernet Makes Its Move, Extreme Joins Carrier Ethernet Chorus, and Foundry Reinforces Metro.)

Atrica ranked No. 4 in carrier Ethernet, tied with Nortel Networks Ltd. and behind Cisco, Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) and Riverstone Networks Inc. (OTC: RSTN.PK) , according to a Heavy Reading report last year; Riverstone has since been acquired by Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU). (See Lucent to Spend $207M for Riverstone.) Atrica has been winning its "fair share" of the market, "but it needs new big-name customer wins to maintain momentum," Heavy Reading analyst Stan Hubbard wrote.

Still, the company does have Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. as a reseller partner, so it's not without muscle. "We've been able to compete with the big boys," says Umesh Kukreja, Atrica's director of product marketing. (See FT, Atrica Team on Ethernet and Atrica Finds Its Lightpath.)

To help its planned expansion, Atrica also picked up a new sales VP: Matt Giuliano, who formerly held that title at Mangrove Systems Inc.

Giuliano replaces Randy Cook, who vacated the spot to become Atrica's first vice president of business development.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:58:09 AM
re: Atrica Raises $28M More Quick note: Atrica should rank #4, not #3 -- I was looking at data from before Alcatel's surge in the Ethernet rankings. Correction on the way.

Brings up an intersting point, though ... with even more folks expected to join in (Siemens, e.g.), what's that going to do to Atrica's standing?
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