Lights Out at InLight

InLight Communications, a Fremont, California-based optical subsystems maker, ceased operations during the last week of November when it couldn't raise another funding round, Light Reading has learned.

The company was originally focused on building optical crossconnect switches that use MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems), the tiny tilting mirror technology that's being used in most all-optical switches. Later, it changed course and started using the same technology to build a configurable optical add/drop multiplexer (OADM) for metro networks.

In January, the company announced that it had closed an $11.5 million Series A funding round. During its several years in business, InLight raised more than $14 million from investors WorldView Technology Partners, Jerusalem Venture Partners, and Shalon Ventures.

InLight's trouble may have been that it was one of several companies making subsystems for the OADM market, not the least of which are JDS Uniphase Inc. (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU), Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW), and Agere Systems (NYSE: AGR). Even if InLight's technology had been the best in class it would have had to get systems vendors on board by proving that it could deliver -- not just new features, but significant cost reductions in metro-area applications.

When it closed its doors, InLight put about 30 people out of work. At the company's peak, it had employed about 45.

The company's managers included president and CEO Steve Tobak; Ray Cotter, its cofounder and VP of microsystems technology; Keith Love, VP of operations; and Mary Rorabaugh, its VP of finance.

Tobak, Cotter, JVP's Erel Margalit, Worldview's Ajit Shah, and Teddy Shalon, of Shalon Ventures, sat on InLight's board.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
friend 12/4/2012 | 7:23:26 PM
re: Lights Out at InLight Kerenix also closed today according to press reports. That's two JVP backed companies in a week! I wonder who is next from their optical portfolio - perhaps Cyoptics?
solidoptics 12/4/2012 | 7:23:31 PM
re: Lights Out at InLight Some nice people worked at Inlight.
Big Pimp 12/4/2012 | 7:23:33 PM
re: Lights Out at InLight Besides Nanovation and Zenastra, what other component companies are going belly up? (or will run out of cash in the near future)
HarveyMudd 12/4/2012 | 7:23:34 PM
re: Lights Out at InLight The falling of optical networking companies in California shows the excesses comitted vy the VCs

About 50% optical companies have closed down. The rest will be gone soon.
mrtelecom 12/4/2012 | 7:23:48 PM
re: Lights Out at InLight I was right about my predictions of Village and alphion and also about the layoffs at Jedai. Now jedai is rumored to shut their doors in 3 months if they get no customer.
optolink 12/4/2012 | 7:23:49 PM
re: Lights Out at InLight Does any one know about what will happen to InLight's assets ? Do they have any good I.P. for sale ? I believe they had a wafer fab also - is that for sale too. And what happened to the team there ?

I might be interested in some these assets if they are available ?
opto13 12/4/2012 | 10:03:33 PM
re: Lights Out at InLight ANYONE HERE? What happended to the assets of nlight?
Sign In