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Optical/IP

Optical Burst Startup Bags $32M

Irish optical startup Intune Networks has announced a new funding round of €22 million (US$32 million) to help take its optical burst switching platform to full commercial launch and to help it break into North America and Asia/Pacific. (See Intune Secures $32.5M.)

The round, which takes the company's funding to €50 million (US$72.6 million), was led by Irish serial entrepreneur and billionaire Dermot Desmond (think of him as an Irish version of Terry Matthews, if you like...) and Kernel Capital. (See Intune Gets $17.75M.)

The news comes just weeks after Intune announced a deal with the Irish government, which is building a new communications network as part of a broader range of economic stimulus initiatives. (See InTune Lands Irish Gig.)

That deal could prove to be a catalyst for the nascent optical burst switching (OBS) market, reckons Heavy Reading analyst Sterling Perrin. (See OBS: The Pipes Are Calling.)

The OBS market is so small it boasts just two players: Intune and Matisse Networks , which has already expanded outside its home turf with an early score in Europe. (See Matisse Scores in Germany and Matisse Demos EtherBurst.)

Intune says it's in trials with unidentified European carriers, and while it doesn't reveal any sales numbers or projections, the company expects to reach break even in 2011.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

opticalulcer 12/5/2012 | 3:55:13 PM
re: Optical Burst Startup Bags $32M

Good to see an optical company can still raise capital in these precarious markets. Congratulations to the folks inside who made this happen...

Stevery 12/5/2012 | 3:55:12 PM
re: Optical Burst Startup Bags $32M

Congratulations to the folks inside who made this happen...


I wonder when we'll get back to the point that raising money is a stigma.  It would be more appropriate to say something like:  Congratulations to the team for a job well done, and sorry that you didn't have the revenue to avoid dilution.


Sterling Perrin 12/5/2012 | 3:55:11 PM
re: Optical Burst Startup Bags $32M

Stevery,


The Intune product isn't GA yet. I think that raising venture capital in order to build an innovative product is the point of venture capital, and I don't think there should be a stigma here at all (unless your point is that venture capital in general is a bad thing?). I agree that there have been many cases in the past where products are GA but no one's buying them, so subsequent rounds were raised just to keep the company's doors open. I've never been a fan of that use of VC money, and I don't think there are any success stories that came from that VC model.


In optical, I am starting to see some funding going into new optical products and I think this is a good development for the industry.


Sterling

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:55:11 PM
re: Optical Burst Startup Bags $32M

 


But Stevery, depends right?  You have to raise some amount of money to fund the development and get it to a profitable run rate.  Without knowing the ins and outs of the particular plan, I have no idea if this money was inevitable based on the smaller amounts previously raised or not.  But I do think your point is generally valid, 3 rounds was the old standard.  Once you got to a Series D round, things had gone pretty well sideways.


seven


 

Stevery 12/5/2012 | 3:55:10 PM
re: Optical Burst Startup Bags $32M

@bollocks:  I also wondered if it's an idea in search of a market.  I can think of a few places where it would be useful, but whether there's an actual profitable biz is a head scratcher.

Stevery 12/5/2012 | 3:55:10 PM
re: Optical Burst Startup Bags $32M

I think that raising venture capital in order to build an innovative product is the point of venture capital, and I don't think there should be a stigma here at all (unless your point is that venture capital in general is a bad thing?).


There are 2 errors in your sentence.


1.  The point of venture capital is to provide a return to investors.  Think about it:  If a VC were to fund the greatest and wildest "innovative product", but not return money to their investors, the individual partners would be fired, or the limiteds would fire the firm.



2.  You have not considered the associated dilution to the folks who produce the innovative item.  THAT is the stigma. 


bollocks187 12/5/2012 | 3:55:10 PM
re: Optical Burst Startup Bags $32M

Is there a "real" market for optical burts switching without some revolutionary "optical silicon"


 


 

Sterling Perrin 12/5/2012 | 3:55:08 PM
re: Optical Burst Startup Bags $32M

You have not considered the associated dilution to the folks who produce the innovative item.  THAT is the stigma. 


Ok, then it sounds to me like you are against venture capital in general ...


Sterling

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