Storm Telecom secures $35m

Storm Telecommunications has raised a second round of funding from investors including Soros Private Equity and Merrill Lynch. Storm is an optical service provider based in the UK. The company simultaneously announced a Life-Saver Service, which enables companies to quickly switch to Storm’s services following the demise of their current network providers. This round brings the total financing raised by Storm to $400 million, including $200 million VC investment.

Storm’s network covers the UK, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands providing voice, bandwidth and Internet provider services. The company offers an alternative to what it sees as the out-dated legacy network widely used by the communications industry. The company hopes to expand into the US, Austria and Switzerland. The CEO of Storm, Steve Sanderson, said: “While other so-called new carriers’ have either gone out of business or are struggling to complete the build-out of their networks, we are now broadening our focus.” Storm will use this round of funding to rollout advanced Ethernet and IP services to complement its existing optically switched network.

Telenor AS of Norway, IXC Communications and Clarion Resources Communications founded storm in 1998. Last February its management, with the financial support of Soros Private Equity, completed an MBO and went on to receive a further investment from Merrill Lynch Ventures in May 2000.

Ramez Sousou, managing partner of Soros private equity, which led the deal, said: “Storm has a very strong proposition in the currently unstable market its optical infrastructure enables the company to offer its customers faster access and higher levels of service and cost-efficiency.”