Convergence Specialist Banks $17.5M

Startups looking to attract new funding could do worse than to have a "convergence" story, because this looks like a good time to be pitching new technologies that can provide a bridge between the legacy, dependable world of TDM-based systems and services and the emerging world of next-generation, multimedia services.

Converged services gateway vendor Mavenir Systems Inc. has taken its funding past the $50 million mark with a $17.5 million round coughed up by its existing backers and a new, unidentified investor.

The Richardson, Texas-based company -- a hot startup that has developed pre-IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) voice and messaging service gateways that connect new devices to legacy applications, and legacy devices to new applications -- says the new investor led the round with input from Alloy Ventures , Austin Ventures , and North Bridge Venture Partners . (See Mavenir Unveils IP SMSC, Mavenir Unveils MOne, and Mavenir Closes In on $20M .)

According to Mavenir, which has about 140 staff and offices in India and China, as well as in the U.K. and U.S., it's already had some success, in terms of deployments and trials, with "significant Tier 1 Service Providers in North America and Europe." (See Mavenir Opens in India.) While none have been named, Light Reading believes T-Mobile International AG is one of the carriers that has shown great interest in Mavenir's technology.

Mavenir says it'll use the new money to expand its product portfolio, "continue the product implementation and deployments with service providers," extend its geographic coverage, and continue to build "an ecosystem of partners to compete effectively in the marketplace." (See Taqua, Mavenir Team Up, Mavenir, Genband Team, ip.access, Mavenir Team, Apertio, Mavenir Team Up, and Ericsson, Mavenir Partner.)

News of Mavenir's new money comes shortly after a funding announcement from Convergin , a specialist vendor in the emerging service broker world that is also helping service providers introduce new services and platforms without having to replace or retire their existing, dependable legacy applications and systems. (See Convergin Brokers VC Deal.)

This hardly seems like a coincidence, as, more than ever, carriers need to find ways to introduce and try out new services and business models without demoting or destabilizing their existing, cash-generative platforms and applications.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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