Turin Trolls In $50M



Petaluma, California-based Turin Networks Inc. said Wednesday that it has raised $50 million in new funding, bring its total investment to date to about $122 million. The multiservice provisioning platform maker also says it has commitments for another $8 million in equity that it expects to receive shortly (see Turin Turns Up $50 Million).

“This funding round should take us to cash-flow positive,” says Turin CEO John Webley. “That’s, of course, assuming there aren’t another five Global Crossings about to happen.”

The company announced its multiservice switching product just last week (see Turin Turns Up). It says that by using its platform, service providers can deliver OC3 to OC192 Sonet, DS1, DS3, and gigabit Ethernet services from the same box.

Turin is in trials with one RBOC and two IXCs, but says it expects the bulk of its business to come from smaller, independent telephone companies -- such as Texas-based Grand River Communications Inc.

Webley says he targeted the same types of companies when he was at Advanced Fibre Communications Inc. (AFC) (Nasdaq: AFCI). He says Turin’s received five purchase orders from independent carriers, two of which are running live traffic over its box. “My whole business case is based on that for the next two years, we’ll survive on [the independents] and break even."

Turin is taking aim at a market that’s flooded with old and young competitors alike. For example, it faces off against Ocular Networks, which has established RBOC relationships through its new parent company, Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA). But Turin insists it’s up for the challenge, having paid close attention to the RBOCs' need for Sonet services and Ethernet switching capabilities. Also, Webley notes that Tellabs' history of making a profit from its acquired companies “isn’t stellar.”

Turin’s new investors include Doll Capital Management (DCM), RWI Group, Tako Ventures, and individual investor Donald L. Lucas, whose son, Donald A. Lucas, runs RWI. Other Turin investors include Sequoia Capital, Baker Capital Corp., Van Wagoner Capital Management, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., AFC, Pivotal Asset Management, and several individuals, such as Don Green, AFC's chairman, and B.J. Cassin, an early AFC investor.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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