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Startup Company Profile #9: OpVista Inc.

OpVista Inc. was founded in November 2000 during the metro optical gold rush and has raised $74 million through four rounds of funding. Investors include DCM-Doll Capital Management, Sevin Rosen, Incubic and US Trust.

After hiring cable and telecom veteran Karl May as CEO in 2005, the company relocated from Irvine to Milpitas, Calif. and now counts 91 employees. May helped OpVista close its $28 million series F funding round. May says "F" in this case may stand for "final" as the company is on track to reach profitability within a year. Even better, "getting close to $100 million in revenue is not impossible for 2007," he says.

That's an eye-popping number for an optical startup making its bread primarily in the cable market. MSOs like Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable are gobbling up the company's OpVista2000 metro DWDM and ROADM platform, which scales up to 800 Gbps in single wavelength increments at both 2.5G and 10G.

The icing on the cake is that MSOs are not just talking about ROADMs, but actually deploying them with OpVista. What's driving the MSO demand are exploding bandwidth requirements on their metro networks from faster high-speed data services, video-on-demand (VOD), digital simulcast and HDTV.

While OpVista is an obvious acquisition target, flush with cash and on the way to profitability, May says the company is considering acquisitions itself to broaden its product portfolio for both cable operators and telcos.

    Start-up: OpVista
    Innovation factor: 8 (out of 10)
    Likely Acquirers: The Public Market
    Handicap: 3-1 odds on an IPO. Time to see a new optical-only offering on the NASDAQ.


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