Nistica's Early Xmas

3:15 PM -- Just in time to get swallowed by the holiday crunch, Nistica announced on Dec. 22 that it's raised another $4 million.

The money isn't exactly from VC powerhouses, not that any startup would complain about an extra $4 million. Fujikura Ltd. , the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA), and RBC Bank’s Knowledge-Based Industries pitched in this time.

Nistica's more noteworthy funding round came earlier in 2008: $9 million, plus an equity investment from Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR) that's been overshadowed by the Optium acquisition. (See Finisar Moves Into ROADMs, Finisar & Optium Challenge JDSU, and Finisar vs JDSU.)

Optical components startups are a rarer breed year by year, but the reconfigurable add-drop optical multiplexer (ROADM) market still sports some interesting candidates, companies I'm hoping to follow up on more closely between now and OFC/NFOEC. Capella Photonics Inc. claims to be drawing interest from a relatively new product line that I've been meaning to write up. Xtellus Inc. picked up a funding round of its own in March. (See Xtellus Adds $8.3M.) As for CoAdna Photonics Inc. , I haven't spoken to them in a long while. Time to hit the phones.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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