PETALUMA, CAÂ â€” Access solutions vendorÂ Calix announced that it has raised $100 million in financing – half in equity and half in debt financing – and added three new members to its board of directors. Calix plans to use the funds to prepare for continued growth and expansion, including growth expected as a result of the broadband stimulus program. To assist the company in navigating these opportunities, Calix has added three new directors to its board from companies providing its equity financing: Michael Marks of Riverwood Capital, Adam Grosser of Foundation Capital, and Robert Finzi of Sprout Group. All are longtime technology entrepreneurs and investors.
With more than 40 percent of the rural service providers in the United States relying on the Calix Unified Access Infrastructure to deliver advanced broadband services, and market share leadership among rural U.S. service providers for both copper and fiber-based access solutions, Calix appears poised to benefit from the broadband stimulus portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Calix marketing director Geoff Burke says that a large number of Calix’s customers have applied for stimulus funding; even though the first funding tranche was oversubscribed by 700 percent and awards will not be made until the fall, Burke says Calix’s customers are on the “short list” of companies that can demonstrate successful deployment history, existing relationships with the funding agencies, realistic business plans and the ability to execute quickly. In the event that many of their projects are funded, Calix will use the new financing announced today to “get the supply chain primed and ready to roll” so the projects can all be started quickly and completed within the statutory timelines.
Not all of Calix’s expected growth comes from the stimulus program. The company is also having success selling its products in the Caribbean – the entire island of Jamaica is currently being overbuilt with Calix equipment – and in Latin America, where it has dedicated sales resources. Calix has also moved beyond its traditional telco market to address cable companies, many of which are now deploying fiber to business customers. Finally, Calix expects significant sales in the newest market for fiber access equipment – mobile backhaul. “Anyone who has an iPhone can see the importance of fiber-fed cell towers,” Burke says. “We see that emerging very quickly.”
Calling the new financing package “a big vote of confidence for us and for our customers,” Â Burke says there are “tremendous opportunities for Calix and our customers to benefit from these programs and from the changes going on in the industry.”