February 9, 2004 San Diego, CA-- LightPointe, a designer and manufacturer of optical wireless products based on free-space optics (FSO) technology, announced a $17 million round of financing that was led by Rho Ventures and included participation by China-based Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. Both Rho and Huawei join existing investors Sevin Rosen Funds, Ampersand Ventures, Telecom Partner, Cisco Systems and Corning.
"Through what all agree was the most challenging period in the history of the telecommunications industry, the optical wireless market has continued to grow, and LightPointe has increased revenue tenfold during this period," said John Griffin, LightPointe president and chief executive officer. "This growth is a testament to strong market demand, plus the focus of our partners and employees to solve customer needs for cost-effective connectivity in a variety of fundamental network applications. This additional funding will allow us to accelerate our business activities to capitalize on an improving economy."
The new funds will be used to fund global marketing, product development and general working capital. Today, the company sells its optical wireless products in more than 60 countries, with existing revenue split equally between global service providers and enterprise customers. LightPointe has raised $71 million in venture capital.
Ben Terk, a partner with Rho Ventures, who joins the LightPointe Board of Directors, said: "LightPointe is the leader in the emerging optical wireless space and is well positioned as the market continues to grow in the three major customer segments: enterprise, mobile wireless service providers, and wireline service providers.
"LightPointe's optical wireless products are unrivaled in their value for critical connectivity applications, providing customers cost-effective and easy installation in both public and private networks," Terk said. "This combination of product features, as well as the company's partners and management team gives LightPointe a clear and distinct advantage."
During 2003, LightPointe's sales grew at the fastest pace in China where Huawei markets and sells LightPointe optical wireless products under the Huawei brand.
"Optical wireless products are the only way to solve connectivity challenges cost-effectively at fiber-optic speeds in a host of flexible applications," said Guo Ping, Huawei's executive vice president. "LightPointe provides the highest product quality and the most choices for customers, which has separated them from all other competitors in the rapidly evolving wireless optical sector. We are pleased to be a partner and investor."
In the past year, LightPointe introduced its most advanced optical wireless product, FlightStrata, which quickly captured market share. In addition to its recent agreement with Huawei, LightPointe is part of the Cisco Service Provider Solutions Ecosystem Partner Program, has a global reseller agreement with Siemens AG, and sells its products in North America under the Corning brand. LightPointe is also a partner with ADC for solutions to mobile wireless service providers combining LightPointe's Flight products with ADC's Digivance products.