OpVista Racks Up $28M

Cashing in on recent interest in reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers (ROADMs), OpVista Inc. has picked up $28 million in what it says is its last round of funding.

This latest round, announced earlier this week, was led by DCM - Doll Capital Management and included prior investors Incubic LLC , Sevin Rosen Funds , and U.S. Trust Corp. (See OpVista Raises $28M.)

OpVista has raised a total of $84 million, including a $16 million round completed last year. Like many of the telecom-crash survivors, OpVista is on the brink of profitability -- the company's cash burn "will be zero here in about four or five months," CEO Carl May says.

Two years ago, the company chose to focus on the cable market, where it's landed Cox Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) as customers. (See OpVista & Cox: Who Knew? and Time Warner Deploys OpVista.) Most of its work could be categorized as IPTV buildouts, though, and OpVista's requirements end up looking a lot like those of a telecom provider, May says.

OpVista seems to want to branch out, having recently hired Stuart Santoro as VP of sales for North American telco, utility, and enterprise customers, and Bernd Schilp as vice president of sales for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. (See Opvista Adds VP and OpVista Names VP.)

Still, big-fish telecom players aren't in OpVista's immediate future, May says. "I'm a little less excited about taking on a big telco customer still, because I've seen a lot of companies go bust doing that."

A more likely kind of expansion would be for OpVista to add more services to its product line, supplementing what May says has been a frugal strategy up until now. Storage networking is one potential area for growth, as noted by yesterday's partnership announcement between OpVista and LightSand Communications Corp. (See LightSand, Opvista Team.)

"You'll see more relationships like that, and you'll probably see more of our own developments as well," May says.

The company has competed with ROADM offerings from the likes of Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. and Nortel Networks Ltd. , but its biggest competition has been Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) "What we're doing is upgrading and displacing the 15454 as much as we can," May says.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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