Nistica wires $9 Mn for Optical Telecom Equipment

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Princeton : Battelle Ventures and its affiliate fund, Innovation Valley Partners (IVP), have led the $9-million Series B funding round of Nistica, a supplier of agile optical modules that simplify, automate and make affordable the delivery of high-bandwidth applications.

"Nistica differentiates itself from others in the agile optical networking (AON) field by being able to combine low cost with high performance, enabling systems providers across multiple industries to meet broadband demand for the ever-increasing ?triple play? of market applications in voice, video and data," said Battelle Ventures/IVP General Partner Ralph Taylor-Smith.

Ashish Vengsarkar, Nistica CEO said that Series A participants Novitas Capital (formerly PA Early Stage Partners), Technology Venture Partners and private investors joined the round, as did new, strategic investor Finisar Corporation [NASDAQ: FNSR], a leader in fiber-optic solutions for high-speed networks, with which Nistica separately announced a partnership today.

He also reported that the three-year-old Bridgewater, N.J.-based company had received a $1-million Edison Innovation Fund investment from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, for a total post-Series A capital infusion of $10 million.

"We made this investment for a couple of reasons," said Taylor-Smith. "First is the winning combination of technology, talent and timing. The company has developed substantial in-house intellectual property; the management team has deep, direct experience; and the market is primed for the emergence of an agile optical module vendor with disruptive cost models."

Taylor-Smith joined the company's Board of Directors, chaired by William Cadogan, former chairman and CEO of ADC Telecommunications and investor in Nistica. Other Board members, in addition to CEO Vengsarkar, are: Novitas Managing Director Michael Bolton; Technology Venture Partners Managing General Partner Bryson Hollimon; and company founder and CTO Thomas Strasser.

Since the $5.2-million Series A round in 2006, said Vengsarkar, the company "has significantly expanded in global markets, with a strategic partnership with Fujikura, and has more than a dozen customers worldwide." The current round, he said, will enable the company to scale production, introduce products and expand customer support.

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