Jasmine Networks: Disconnected

Jasmine Networks, one of many startups in the crowded metro optical switching market, has officially closed its doors, say sources. The company has been struggling to stay afloat for almost a year and just yesterday bid the last of its employees good-bye.

Calls placed to David Robert, chief operating office and acting CEO, and to David Frazee, vice president of legal affairs and corporate secretary, were met with messages saying that their phone lines had been disconnected. While the company’s Website is still up, its corporate phone number only reaches voice mail.

According to a source close to the company, the remaining 50 employees in the company’s San Jose, Calif., office were told yesterday that the company would be closing. Their last official day was yesterday. The source also says that employees were given little to no severance. Rumors had been circulating since October that Jasmine’s days were numbered (see Rumors Rampant as Startup Woes Mount).

In March, Light Reading reported that the company had slashed its workforce by roughly 25 percent, leaving about 180 employees (see Is the Bloom off Jasmine?). It had also closed its Richardson, Texas, facility and sent Venkata V. Chalam, vice president of engineering, and Ravi Dattatreya, chief executive officer, packing.

Sources say that Jasmine’s demise results from a deal gone bad with Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT). Back in the summer of 2000, Nortel had agreed to resell the Jasmine product. So Jasmine altered its product focus and concentrated on building an OC48/OC192 multiplexer to fit into the optical transport product portfolio Nortel had acquired from Qtera. A year later, when Jasmine finally got its product to market, Nortel found itself in deep financial trouble and cut the deal.

Without any other customers on board to take up the slack, the company hasn’t generated any revenue or been able to raise new funding.

— Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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mesolithic 12/4/2012 | 10:59:39 PM
re: Jasmine Networks: Disconnected Like this is an important factor and accurate reflection of how good an optical company looks... As I remember, Jasmine came 9th in this particular list - a full 5 places behind that well known "Optical" supplier Sonus (4th in the August Optical Top10 picks) evidently based on their use the new industry-standard optical ISUP/MGCP muxponder. Rumour has it Alcatel will be No.1 in the next list...
fundamental_guy 12/4/2012 | 10:59:37 PM
re: Jasmine Networks: Disconnected If Alcatel is going to be number 1 on LR's
list their days must be numbered !!
fundamental_guy 12/4/2012 | 10:59:37 PM
re: Jasmine Networks: Disconnected The top 10 is for companies that are blowing
smoke up the old exit passage. What LR typically
falls a trap to is this smoke.

The folks who use the KISS (Keep It Simple
Stupid) principle eventually win in the indutsry.
Also, most of the carrier deals that are made
with vendors are hush-hush. LR clearly gyrates
around hype.

If LR puts a company on the top 10 I usually
attribute it to the fact that marketing is working
hard in these companies to blow smoke.
Uusally marketing works hard when engineering
does not have it together.

Jasmine stank right from the beginning.
Especially when the ideas were around machoness
of building large ASICs. Some of the folks came
our successfull companies were they thrown out
for their pie-in-the-sky dreams. Usually these
collect around the sink hole.

LR's top 10 is usually a good list of who
will not make it.

gonefishin 12/4/2012 | 10:59:36 PM
re: Jasmine Networks: Disconnected Yes, they are done. See below

Dear Fellow Optimighters,

It has been a challenging journey for Optimight . We have all worked so
hard and hoped to see the company going all the way to its IPO. However,
the recent World Trade Center tragedy has made the slow down in the economy
even worse. Unfortunately it came at the time when we needed further
financing from our investors. As you all know Optimight was at the 3rd
stage where we had our product and needed a lot more cash to continue our
operation. Our customers are also in a very difficult financial situation
in making buying decisions due to cash constraints. I have searched for
solutions. Sadly, we have failed to raise the huge financial investment
needed to save the company.

I want to thank you all for your outstanding efforts in making our terrific
product. I am truly proud all of you and believe in our technology and have
great confidence in our product. We achieved Worldcom's field trial and
entered ATT's Q13 process. Still, we have lost our company. And you, our
dear Optimighters, we recognize your contributions, and urge you not to lose
confidence in yourself.

The job market is very soft. My son and brother have also lost their jobs.
Let us, the Optimighters, help and support each other, and our families
under these circumstances. I would also encourage that everyone maintains
contact with your managers.

It is hard to say farewell. We want to respect all the business decisions
that our Board has made. We are certain that the Board has done its very
best to protect the company's best interests and the huge investment they
have all already made (over $60Millions). We lost our child "Optimight", but
let us not lose our trust in people. Keep our confidence, our values and our


Wu-Fu Chen

1302 12/4/2012 | 10:59:35 PM
re: Jasmine Networks: Disconnected Any good Optimight Engineers out there? Asic guys, network architechs, electrical engineers...etc. We are hiring send resume to:
[email protected]
HarveyMudd 12/4/2012 | 10:59:34 PM
re: Jasmine Networks: Disconnected Regardless of the Deal with Nortel, the death of Jasmine was very certain from the very beginning. It did nit have any new product that had universal appeal. Its management did not have much business experience. It got funding at a time when the simple utterance of the optical could bring millions of dollars.

Except for a few optical companies, most of them would perish as there is no demand for their products.
RouterOttawa 12/4/2012 | 10:59:32 PM
re: Jasmine Networks: Disconnected CheekyChappy writes: "I heard it was not Ceyba but that other, less well funded Ottawa startup Innovance who had the 25% pay cut AND laid people off - now that is a bad sign."

The layoff part is true. I don't know about the pay cut though.
BigHead 12/4/2012 | 10:59:31 PM
re: Jasmine Networks: Disconnected This was already discussed in another thread.
Yes there was a small layoff at Innovance,
roughly 25 people out of 350. People here
had mixed perceptions on whether the layoff
indicated financial trouble, or just an
opportunity to remove redundant/unneeded
functions to conserve cash.

Haven't heard about layoffs or salary cuts
at Ceyba. On the same token haven't heard
much about what they are developing either.
The story changed from Soliton to 40G to
10G solutions.

HarveyMudd 12/4/2012 | 10:59:30 PM
re: Jasmine Networks: Disconnected It should be pointed out Jasmine raked over 90 million products. Jasmine played all kind of tricks but it has no solid product ideas. Now the money is gone so are the management employees.

There are many companies like Jasmine and their demise ois sure as soon as the funding is gone.

Please note that Lucent had funded about 28 companies and had invested millions of dollars, quite a few of them optical companies.

Nortel and Lucent have lost billions of dollars in the acquisition game. For example, Lucent acquired Kenan for about $1.50 Billion and sold it for about $300 million. Lucent has lost over $100 Billion in acquiring junky companies.
bluey 12/4/2012 | 10:59:30 PM
re: Jasmine Networks: Disconnected word on the street is that everyone at internet photonics in NJ had to take a 15% to get their latest round of funding.

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