Lehman Brothers and 3i Co-Lead Series B Investment in AOptix Technologies
March 11, 2002
Campbell, Calif. - March 11, 2002 - AOptix Technologies, a leading provider
of Free Space Optics (FSO) communications systems, today announced the closing
of an $18 million Series B round of financing, co-led by Lehman Brothers
and 3i. The round also included participation from existing investors Kleiner
Perkins Caufield & Byers and Clearstone Venture Partners. As part of
the financing, Brian Paul of Lehman Brothers and David Aslin of 3i have
joined AOptix's Board of Directors.
AOptix Technologies designs and builds carrier-class FSO systems used by
telecommunications service providers to deliver high-speed communications
to business customers. FSO systems transmit optical signals over a laser
beam sent through the air (or "free space") at a fraction of the
cost and time needed to trench and install fiber optic cables.
AOptix's FSO systems are built upon an entirely new and radically different
core technology called Adaptive Optics (AO). By combining patent-pending
wavefront sensors, deformable mirrors, extremely narrow light beams and
precision beam tracking, AO dynamically corrects signal distortions caused
by turbulent air and office windows. In addition, AO makes it possible to
create an all-optical FSO system that takes laser light from the customer's
telecom equipment, sends it through the air and puts the light back into
another fiber at the receiving end without optical-to-electrical conversions.
"Our product's capabilities are very different than anything available
in the market today and will set new standards for distance, bandwidth,
operation through windows and easy installation. We are confident our breakthrough
technology will move FSO from niche-applications to wide-spread carrier
deployment in metro markets," explained Tony Shakib, CEO of AOptix.
"We are extremely pleased to be backed by four top-tier investors."
Shakib, previously General Manager and Vice President of Nortel Networks
Broadband Access Group, together with his seasoned management team, have
decades of experience successfully developing and selling access products
to the carrier market worldwide.
According to David Aslin, Director with 3i, the team did its homework. "Over
the course of the last several years, we looked at many FSO technologies.
AOptix clearly stands out as a dramatically better solution, allowing network
operators to add new customers and bandwidth with capital expenditure that
fits today's significantly reduced budgets." He further added "the
company's leaders have a high level of knowledge and experience, a network
of contacts with key industry players, and the vision necessary to grow
a successful business."
"FSO provides a compelling value proposition to service providers in
that it enables them to roll-out high bandwidth services to areas that cannot
be cost-effectively addressed by fiber," said Brian Paul, Senior Vice
President with Lehman Brothers' Venture Capital Group. "With the Company's
proprietary Adaptive Optics technology, AOptix is the only FSO vendor to
provide a solution that meets service providers' distance, reliability and
AOptix Technologies designs and builds carrier-class, Free Space Optics
(FSO) systems that allow service providers to extend the reach of their
fiber networks to more business customers. FSO systems from AOptix send
optical signals through the air (free space) at a fraction of the cost and
time to trench and install fiber optic links. AOptix is the only FSO company
with unique patent pending technologies that address the primary issue facing
the FSO industry - the disruptive effects of the atmosphere on the propagation
of light through free space. AOptix is headquartered in Campbell, California.
3i is a leading international venture capital company with U.S. offices
in Menlo Park, CA and Waltham, MA. Operating since 1945, 3i has invested
worldwide over $20 billion, including co-investment funds, through its 16-country,
3-continent network of 36 offices. 3i leverages this worldwide presence
to add value to its portfolio companies and investment partners. Outside
the USA, 3i invests broadly in private equity and venture capital. In the
United States, 3i concentrates on technology investments in companies with
the potential to be leaders in their markets. Visit 3i and its portfolio
About Lehman Brothers
Lehman Brothers, an innovator in global finance, focuses on serving the
financial needs of corporations, governments and municipalities, institutional
clients, and high-net-worth individuals worldwide. Founded in 1850, Lehman
Brothers maintains leadership positions in equity and fixed income sales,
trading and research, investment banking, private equity, and private client
services. The Venture Capital division was established in 1995 and has nearly
$500 million under management with investments in approximately 50 portfolio
companies. The Firm is headquartered in New York, London, and Tokyo, and
operates through a network of offices around the world. For further information
about Lehman Brothers' services, products, and recruitment opportunities,
visit their Web site at www.lehman.com.