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Optical/IP

Swyx Swallows $9.3M

With a former Cisco exec at the helm, Germany-based VOIP software provider has bagged €7.7 million ($9.3 million) in its second round of financing. (See Swyx Secures $9M.)

Its SwyxWare product is a software-based IP PBX, like Skype for the enterprise, with all the bells and whistles of IP telephony -- callback, call forwarding, voicemail-to-email conversion -- basically "all that you think about as telephony but as an application platform," says CEO Günter Junk.

The company was founded six years ago and launched with its first funding in 2000. It now boasts 3,000 enterprise customers, with 100,000 installations and users in Europe.

Junk says the cash will support the company's international expansion, including bumping up its headcount from around 50 to 100 people; most of which it's already done. "The money will be used for the further development of our technology platform." It recently launched its sales and marketing operations in the U.K., which "should be a clear sign that we became a more international company." He says the amount "should be sufficient enough...so that there's no other funding needed."

Before joining Swyx in February this year, Junk was president of EMEA Operations at (Nasdaq: CSCO) and had previously been managing director of its German business. He says he left the giant vendor because Swyx's "compelling story" and promise as a platform is "more interesting than selling more switches and more routers."

Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) started to sell the software to its customers two years ago and took the opportunity to sign on as an investor in this round through its T-Systems Venture Fund. DT's interest signals the move towards hosted PBX services as an extra revenue stream for carriers. "In the future service providers like Deutsche Telekom and BT will offer this as a service so [enterprises] do not need to buy telecom systems," says Junk.

Infonetics Research Inc. says the worldwide PBX market grew 12 percent between the first and second quarters, with revenues to hit close to $7 billion this year. (See Infonetics Reports on IP PBXs.) Swyx expects its revenues to reach the "double-digit" millions this year -- twice those of last year.

— Nicole Willing, Reporter, Light Reading

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