Luminous Lands More Loot

Yet another round garners more than $10M, but this time Luminous claims big contracts are in the works

August 31, 2005

2 Min Read
Luminous Lands More Loot

It's been a long wait, but Luminous Networks Inc. claims to be on the verge of several large contracts.

Yes, after a long slog and at least $183 million cumulatively invested, Luminous is on the verge of greatness -- or, at least, real goodness. The company is close to deals with six major carriers spread around the globe -- two in North America, two in Asia, one in Europe, and one in Australia, according to director of marketing Frank Petkovich.

But big-name buyers can take years to land, and many a startup has died trying. To that end, Luminous secured well more than $10 million in a June funding round, officials say. The money comes from Luminous's prior investors.

The money is meant "just as a safety cushion" to ensure Luminous can wait out the final stages of "some accounts we'd been working on for a couple of years now," Petkovich says. Luminous doesn't immediately need the money; this is all just in case, he says.

The amount is not being disclosed but is in the "low tens" of millions, Petkovich says. The round was closed with little fanfare -- Luminous's investors opted not to do a press release -- and is being augmented by a more recent $7.5 million debt financing.

It's taken at least six funding rounds to keep Luminous going, the most recent being a 2003 round for $25 million from investors including Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN). Luminous first came to attention during the Resilient Packet Ring Technology (RPR) fervor circa 2000, along with startups Corrigent Systems Inc., which remains independent, and Lantern, which was snatched up by C-COR Corp. (Nasdaq: CCBL). (See Ciena Links Up With Luminous and C-COR Extinguishes Lantern.)

Luminous has been tied to big-name carriers before but without breakthrough results, a pattern that landed the company on -- and off -- Light Reading's Top 10 Private Companies list twice (see Luminous).

But Luminous has shown signs of life lately, including some small customer announcements. Luminous also sees some possibilities in the emerging micro-MSPP category, a smaller take on the multiservice provisioning platform (see Luminous Shines With 3 New Customers, Luminous Lands Netcom Deal, and Micro MSPPs Are Big). Any MSPP success might cross paths with a burgeoning trend that has some carriers favoring Ethernet over the multiservice boxes, as noted in a recent Light Reading Insider report (see Ethernet Stalks the MSPP).

Separately, Petkovich notes Luminous struck a partnership with broadband equipment vendor Paradyne Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: PDYN), although work there got delayed last month when Zhone Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: ZHNE) announced a deal to acquire that company (see Zhone to Buy Paradyne for $184M).

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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