LaserBit Communications secures third round of funding

18 July 2003 Budapest, Hungary Lightwave Europe -- LaserBit Communications Corp, developer and manufacturer of laser-based, free-space optical (FSO) communications equipment, has completed its third round of investment funding - totalling more than USD 7 million.

Jul 17th, 2003

18 July 2003 Budapest, Hungary -- LaserBit Communications Corp, developer and manufacturer of laser-based, free-space optical (FSO) communications equipment, has completed its third round of investment funding ¿ totalling more than USD 7 million.

Funding throughout the stages has come from a consortium led by 3TS Venture Partners including Hungarian Innovative Technologies Fund, Intel Capital, Sandler Capital, and Technologieholding CEE Fund. There is a further injection from new investor EBRD (see below).

LaserBit's business has grown over the past 12 months. Sales have more than doubled, three major new product ranges have been launched, and overall efficiency improved through the successful implementation of a strong channel distribution strategy; all despite a market characterised by uncertain conditions and consolidation.

LaserBit says it will use the money to accelerate growth. Targeted investment will be made in the expansion of LaserBit's manufacturing capacity, the continued development of its FSO range through new investment in R&D, and the expansion of the company's worldwide distribution network and Business Partner Program.

Responsible for securing the funding, and for overseeing the remarkable performance since he joined from Avaya last year, is E. Walter Koenig III, LaserBit's President & CEO.

"The venture capital market has been extremely challenging over the last several quarters," says Koenig. "This is especially true in the technology and telecommunications sectors. We're pleased that we've been able to secure significant capital funding at this time given that few FSO companies in the world have received significant venture capital this year."

LaserBit's founding CEO and current Chairman Bela Gyori adds, "The potential of the Hungarian technology industry is vast. This is the key reason I have returned to the land of my birth to establish the company here."

Free space optical (FSO) technology is an increasingly popular choice for broadband, point to point connectivity needs and is seen as an alternative to radio masts as a means of data transmission.

LaserBit's modern FSO solutions include full support of E1, E2, E3, 10 and 100 base T, 155Mbs ATM. A Gigabit Ethernet solution will be launched in the near future, the company asserts. Laser technology can deliver transmission speeds ranging from 1.544 to 155Mbit/s, including 10Mbit/ss and 100Mbit/s Ethernet Protocol.

Laser Bit believes that from a relatively uncertain debut on the market more than five years ago, laser technology has improved dramatically. "It now represents excellent, reliable technology with unrivalled return on investment. Its use is increasingly commonplace across a variety of commercial industry sectors, as well as education, healthcare and the military," the company states.

LaserBit was founded in 1999, becoming an international enterprise with worldwide sales and marketing activities, regional offices, advanced research and development and high production capacity after the second round investment was closed at end of 2000, with the value of a USD 6 million financing from international investors Intel Capital, Sandler Capital and Technologiesholding CEE Fund.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has invested about EUR 22 billion in its 27 countries of operations since its foundation in 1991 through year-end 2002. With the investment in LaserBit under its USD 30 million Internet Framework the EBRD supports the expansion of a local technology company competing on the international market.

This complies with the EBRD's task to support the development of market economies in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States by promoting competition, privatisation and entrepreneurship. For more information, visit www.ebrd.com

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