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Optical/IP

Tejas Scores Another $20M

Optical networking vendor Tejas Networks India Ltd. has raised $20 million to further expand its operations outside India and into Southeast Asia. (See Tejas Raises $20M.)

The Series D financing round was led by Sandstone Capital, an India-focused hedge fund. The firm is one of a number of investment funds that have sprung up to back Indian startups. (See VC Funds Flock to India.)

New investor SUN Technologies joined Sycamore Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SCMR) chairman Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande, Battery Ventures , and Intel Capital .

Tejas has now raised a total of $49 million in financing, with this being the largest round.

CEO Sanjay Nayak says the company has won small OEM deals in other emerging markets such as Indonesia and Vietnam, which it will use as a starting point to expand its sales in the region.

Tejas is "shipping in the thousands" to OEMs, he says, which include as yet unidentified partners in the U.S. The company has been profitable for the past three quarters and expects to reach $50 million in revenues for the financial year ending in March.

International sales account for around 25 percent to 30 percent of the company’s revenues, but “the objective next year is to have an equal split between India and international sales,” Nayak says. (See Indian Vendors Go Global.)

He notes that SUN Technologies has a strong presence in Russia, another market that Tejas is targeting for expansion.

Nayak says OEM partnerships form a major part of its international strategy and Tejas is looking for companies with complementary portfolios to help develop its multiservice provisioning platforms and access equipment.

Aside from its expansion plans, Tejas will use the new funding to “invest aggressively in R&D for developing new packet-aware optical products” with enhanced Layer 2 (Ethernet) capabilities.

At home, Tejas has deployments with all of India's major operators, providing mobile backhaul to help meet increasing demand for network capacity and gaining from the gradual rollout of broadband. Nayak reckons Tejas will end the year with a 20 percent share of the Indian market, where it is competing with the likes of ECI Telecom Ltd. , Siemens Communications Group , Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), and, less frequently, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.

The vendor also expects to benefit from the impending rollout of 3G services in India, which are planned for the second half of next year, as an increase in wireless data traffic should lead to further network upgrades. (See India Prepares for 3G Rollout.)

— Nicole Willing, Reporter, Light Reading

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