Village Shuts Down Shop

Village Networks Inc., the N.J.-based maker of MPLS-based optical edge systems, is about to kick the bucket.

The company will close within a few days, a company spokesperson says, as soon as a transition team helps it wind down its relationships with customers and vendors.

Only a couple of weeks ago, Light Reading reported that Village had gone through a significant layoff and that the remaining staffers were scrambling to close deals with some Asian service providers. Evidently, those efforts failed.

A spokesperson said Wednesday that the company had been through several rounds of layoffs during the past year. A company press release put the headcount at 80 in October 2000, and it swelled to 140 by October 2001, according to information Village supplied to Dun & Bradstreet. Since then, the number has been shrinking steadily.

Kai Eng founded Village in 1998 (see Village Networks and Village Unveils "Optical Packet Node"), but it ran into some trouble in 2001 (see Village Stung by Employee Arrest and Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back). The company had raised $50 million in venture capital funding, plus a couple of bridge loans. Most of this funding came from Spectrum Equity Investors, Geocapital Partners, Acappella Ventures, Capital Associates, Global Crossing Ventures, The Goldman Sachs & Co., Intel Capital, and PCG Ventures.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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ExNortel 12/4/2012 | 10:34:57 PM
re: Village Shuts Down Shop /me lowers the flag.

So long VNI, you'll be missed!

Is there any place safe to work in this industry anymore?

Will we ever see the days of 1997-2000 again? Or has this industry matured to a more stable one?

Who's next? Atoga (already?), Maple (them too?), Equip, plus many many many many others.

stuartb 12/4/2012 | 10:34:57 PM
re: Village Shuts Down Shop This is certainly no surprise. There should be several more such announcements in the coming qweeks/months. Alidian, Atoga, Corona, Cratos, Gotham, Lantern, Maple, and Tenor are all likely to shar this same fate in the near term.

beachboy 12/4/2012 | 10:34:55 PM
re: Village Shuts Down Shop Jon Anderson - Vice President of Engineering
A 14 year-veteran of Lucent Technologies and one of the world's foremost optical data engineers, Jon Anderson has been part of the optical revolution from the early days of proprietary optics through the transition to standardized optics and to the development of DWDM networks. As one of the pioneers of optical networking technology, Jon brings to Village Networks expertise in optical and data networking technologies and product research and development as well as a deep understanding of carrier-class reliability. At Bell Laboratories he worked on advanced optical transmission system design, data-over-optics network architecture, and optical standards development and directed advanced development on packet-over-optics technologies and networking systems.

It's amazing how the ex Yes frontman reached the dizzy heights of being the world's best engineer.
gea 12/4/2012 | 10:34:52 PM
re: Village Shuts Down Shop StuartB:
I thought Lantern was kind of in the right place at the right time...have you heard anything or are you just guessing?

Tenor had some interesting stuff, but I didn't think they'd last.

But I figure that have to be SOME survivors...that VC money still exists and has to go somewhere...
bryan_gregory 12/4/2012 | 10:34:51 PM
re: Village Shuts Down Shop In your message you discuss "Alidian, Atoga, Corona, Cratos, Gotham, Lantern, Maple, and Tenor".

I assume in the above text you are refering to "Corona Networks" (located in Bay Area and North Carolina). I can't comments on their financial state, but please use their full name.

"Corona Optical Systems" is a parallel optical component company that is NOT related to the above networking equipment firm. Our business is doing GREAT. We're here to stay :-)
cruiser 12/4/2012 | 10:34:51 PM
re: Village Shuts Down Shop unfortunately, lantern will die. they can't get their product to work and luminous has over a year's head start on them. plus lantern's product is 10 gig and you don't need an expensive 10 gig access product as access rings max out at oc 48 speeds typically. there's no market for their product and even if there was, their team is too weak to execute for it.
canadian 12/4/2012 | 10:34:50 PM
re: Village Shuts Down Shop Quote: "unfortunately, lantern will die. they can't get their product to work ..... plus lantern's product is 10 gig and you don't need an expensive 10 gig access product ....... their team is too weak to execute for it." Unquote.

I don't want to get into a shouting match over this, so I'd just like to mention that you may want to check your facts :-)

I'm close to Lantern and have a vested interest, so all I will say is that for each of the points above, you would be pleasantly surprised if you knew the truth. At least, I was.

Of course, time will tell.

I sure hope they survive, and I pray that most or all of the names you mentioned survive too. There are real people working at each of these companies, and they are doing the best they can.

So all you startup people, stay focused, and never say die.


stuartb 12/4/2012 | 10:34:49 PM
re: Village Shuts Down Shop Glad to hear that you guys are doing well, but I'm sure that people have often confused you two companies, and will continue to do so. Maybe you should change your name?
vapa 12/4/2012 | 10:34:49 PM
re: Village Shuts Down Shop Please stop this. What are you trying to get out of such posting? We all know that telecom market is in bad shape, and will take a while for carriers to seriously start spending. There were plenty of postings in the past discussing what will drive demand for more bandwidth and cause carriers to buy new equipment. It's sad to see more and more companies dying not because of result of competition, but because of bad economy that was created by big hype/bubble. It's not healthy. Not healthy at all, and I don't need to be reminded every day.

P.S. Some perspectives from Network Computing Magazine.

2007 - Year when Qwest Communications estimates it will have to lay new long distance fiber, thanks to a surplus of existing capacity.

20% - Proportion of total U.S. international bandwidth that belonged to the bankrupt Global Crossing.
Source: Telegeography

0% - Forecast growth of the U.S. Internet backbone during 2002, the first time it has remained flat.
Source: Cahners In-Stat

2005 - Year when the U.S. telecom industry's revenues will peak and enter terminal decline.
Source: Forrester Research

6.3 million - The predicted number of subscribers to mobile telecommunications services in Russia by the end of 2001.
Source: Pyramid Research
William F. Letcher 12/4/2012 | 10:34:46 PM
re: Village Shuts Down Shop what is the general consensus about Atrica's ability to close deals and survive?
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