CEO John Clark says there's been a big shift in attitude towards Tunable Lasers. They're now being used in nearly all new DWDM deployments, which has led to healthy order books for Iolon, he contends.
Some of these orders no doubt stem from Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), which is using Iolon's tunable lasers in its LambdaXtreme DWDM platform (see Iolon, Lucent Team on Tunable Optics). Lucent recently announced that Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was using this platform for a nationwide network targeting enterprise customers (see Lucent Lands Lambdas at Verizon).
Clark declines to comment on the Verizon contract, but hints that this is only one of a number of RBOC projects generating orders for Iolon tunable lasers.
This state of affairs might explain why Iolon has recently succeeded in raising extra funding. Clark says the round was over-subscribed by existing investors, but he refuses to say how much was raised. "Our customers are happy and we've got plenty of money, and that's all we care about," he says.
But was it only a $3 million round? Clark says that Iolon's total funding amounts to less than $90 million. However, in an April 2002 press release, the company said its total funding it was "over $85 million." (See Iolon Grabs $7.6M Funding, $9M Credit.)
All the same, Iolon appears to be in a healthier position than one of its competitors, Agility Communications Inc. Rumor has it that the company is struggling with manufacturing problems, is having trouble raising money, is up for sale, and had a sizeable layoff about a month ago. Agility's chairman and CTO, Larry Caldren, had not responded to phone and email requests for comment at press time.
Rumors are also circulating that another troubled laser startup, Bandwidth9 Inc., is on its last legs. Similar rumors have circulated several times before, and proved to be false (see Bandwidth9 Goes Dark and Bandwidth9 Thinks Shorter). As previously, CEO Hatch Graham is not taking calls on his cell phone or replying to email.
— Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading