Advent Looks for $30M from VC Investors

Founded only a year ago by a trio of partners who saw a last-mile gap in the broadband delivery space, Advent Networks is now shopping a $30 million Series B offering. The round is expected to close by the end of the summer.

The Austin, Texas-based company was originally funded through a $1 million seed round from both Murphree Venture Partners and Tom Meredith, former chief financial officer with Dell Computer Corp. and current head of Dell’s venture arm.

A $5 million Series A transaction followed in May with Southern Union Co. taking the lead so that it could try to leverage its rights of way, equipment and employees in the build-out of Advent’s network. Murphree and Opus Capital also participated in the round.

Although the company is focused on building out its hardware and content delivery platform, it began marketing the $30 million Series B two weeks ago. The deal is designed to be Advent’s last round of capital raising until the middle of next year, and will include both traditional venture investors and strategic partners such as manufacturers of broadband access devices and gateways.

Steve Burt, chief financial officer with Advent, said strategic participants could include companies like Lucent Technologies Inc. and Motorola Inc.

“Everybody likes the idea, it’s going very well…but we need to identify a lead,” Burt added.

Advent’s technology works with network service providers like Carolina Broadband and Western Integrated Networks to upgrade the network’s speed. It is hardware for the end-user that speeds data transmission up to 40 megabits per second upstream and six megabits per second downstream. Digital subscriber line (DSL) technology, on the other hand, downloads as much as seven megabits per second, according to DSLPrime.com.

Advent is expected to soon announce the appointment of a chief technology officer and also begin to move its primary product out of beta testing. Burt said that he expects revenue to begin rolling in by the second quarter of 2001.