12 January 2004 Spokane, WA Lightwave--World Wide Packets, a provider of Ethernet access networking solutions, today announced that it has successfully completed a $15.7 million third round of venture funding, led by new investors Madrona Venture Group and Northwest Venture Associates. Several existing investors also participated in the latest round, including Azure Capital Partners. This financing will allow World Wide Packets to accelerate strong revenue and customer growth in their core markets, as well as expand into untapped sectors for Ethernet access solutions.
"In speaking with existing World Wide Packets' customers, it was immediately apparent that the company has delivered a suite of Ethernet access products that have exceeded service provider and end-user's expectations," said Matt McIlwain, managing director at Madrona Venture Group. "We were impressed by World Wide Packets' ability to sign several large, new customers in 2003 and their healthy sales pipeline in multiple emerging market segments. Additionally, the management team has a proven ability to execute in rapidly growing markets, which poises the company for great success."
In conjunction with the financing, Mr. McIlwain has been appointed to World Wide Packets' Board of Directors. Other members of the board include Paul Weinstein, general partner of Azure Capital Partners; David Curry, president and chief executive of World Wide Packets; and Dan Reiner, who serves as chairman of the Board. Additionally, Cascadia Capital, a national investment bank specializing in a number of market sectors including information technology and communications, assisted World Wide Packets in securing the financing.
World Wide Packets will use the latest round to enhance key business areas including new customer acquisition and support, global marketing and sales expansion, and continued aggressive development of its LightningEdge family of Ethernet access equipment. The LightningEdge product suite combines the control and consistency of circuit-switched technology with the unparalleled scalability and execution of Ethernet to remove the last mile bottleneck and enable service providers to deliver high demand Ethernet to the subscriber services including simultaneous telephony, video, broadband data, and Internet access using Ethernet over fiber and copper.
According to Infonetics Research, the use of Ethernet in carrier networks will increase by 131% by 2006. This is primarily driven by end user demand for Ethernet services, lower prices, and the convenience of incrementally provisioned bandwidth.
"With demand for Ethernet-based services growing at a rapid pace, World Wide Packets is nicely positioned to gain a greater market share for its access solutions," said Michael Howard, principal analyst and co-founder of Infonetics Research. "The company has closed a healthy round of funding from a group of new and existing investors, which demonstrates the quality of their business and management team."