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Onetta Raises $56M for "Intelligent" Amp

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading

Raising money in this market is certainly not easy, but some startups are managing to get some cash.

Onetta Inc., which develops high-end amplifiers it's calling "Intelligent Optical Engines" for dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) systems, announced today it has secured $56 million in its second round of funding, bringing the total raised to $68 million.

Harbour Vest Partners LLC led the round, with Sumitomo Corp., J.P. Morgan & Co. (Nasdaq: JPM), Chase H&Q, and J&W Seligman & Co. also contributing. Series A investors, Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners, also came on board for another round.

What does it take to get venture backing in a bear market such as the one we’re in now? Two things: promising technology and an experienced management team.

The company claims it's developing a new type of optical module that can be tightly integrated with long-haul optical systems -- allowing the equipment to provision bandwidth far more quickly and efficiently. The company also says that it already has customers and revenues.

The management team has clearly been a selling point for the VCs. As reported first by Light Reading, Dennis Barsema, chairman and CEO of Onetta, was formerly the CEO at Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK), where he led the company to a successful IPO (see Redback's Barsema to Lead Startup). Barsema recently hired Tim Waters as vice president of marketing; he had been vice president of business development for Nortel Networks Corp.'s (NYSE/Toronto: NT) Broadband Access Business. Barsema and Waters previously worked together at AT&T Paradyne.

On the technical side, Onetta has an impressive list of credentials. Robert MacDonald, one of the founders and VP of product management, came from New Focus Inc. (Nasdaq: NUFO), where he worked on WDM components and tunable lasers. Yan Sun, VP of engineering and the other founder, came from Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), where he developed WDM systems and modules. Other ex-Lucent execs followed Sun's lead, including Atul Srivastava, chief scientist, who specializes in semiconductor opto-electronics; and Paul Wysocki, chief engineer, who specializes in the development of erbium doped fiber lasers and high power fiber amplifiers. Orlando Reyes, the VP of operations, came from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ).

More detailed information about Onetta’s products, technology, and customers will be available in the next couple of weeks, say company executives.

-- Marguerite Reardon, senior editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com

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12/4/2012 | 8:50:52 PM
re: Onetta Raises $56M for "Intelligent" Amp
any idea ???
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