Optical Firm Waves In $100M Round 4

Optical networking component manufacturer CiDRA Corp. closed a $100 million Series D venture round last Wednesday, led by existing investor Amerindo Investment Advisors Inc.

The Wallingford, Connecticut-based company, founded in 1996, has raised $152 million to date. While previous rounds have brought the company through the research and development phase, the latest financing will be used to develop products centered around the company’s core technology and ramping up the company’s manufacturing capacities, said Ann Iseley, chief financial officer with Cidra.

CiDRA’s technology works along the fiber optic network, offering precise management and control of the wavelength. Although the company has not yet announced any customers or contracts, those announcements are imminent, Iseley said. Most likely, the company’s customer base will include network developers, such as Cisco Systems Inc. and Nortel Networks Corp.

Once those contracts are in place, and the company begins to see a steady revenue stream, it may be in the market for another round of financing. Still, Iseley would not say whether or not CiDRA’s next equity step would be in the private or public markets.

“We’ll see how this plays out, we’re constantly weighing our options,” she said.

Meanwhile, the company expects to enter into a high-growth stage until year-end. Its staff, for example, will grow from 200 employees to 300.

Additional participants in the round included HRLD Venture Partners, Optical Capital Group LLC, First Reserve Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Michael Dell’s MSD Capital LP, Scudder Technology Fund, Putnam Investment Management, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Infosys Technologies Ltd., Connecticut Innovations Ltd. and Teknoinvest Management AS.