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Lehman Brothers and 3i Co-Lead Series B Investment in AOptix Technologies

Campbell, California – March 11, 2002:   AOptix Technologies, a leading provider of Free Space Optics (FSO) communications systems, today announced the closing of an $18 million Series B round of financing, co-led by Lehman Brothers and 3i. The round also included participation from existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Clearstone Venture Partners. As part of the financing, Brian Paul of Lehman Brothers and David Aslin of 3i have joined AOptix's Board of Directors.
  AOptix Technologies designs and builds carrier-class FSO systems used by telecommunications service providers to deliver high-speed communications to business customers. FSO systems transmit optical signals over a laser beam sent through the air (or "free space") at a fraction of the cost and time needed to trench and install fiber optic cables.

AOptix's FSO systems are built upon an entirely new and radically different core technology called Adaptive Optics (AO). By combining patent-pending wavefront sensors, deformable mirrors, extremely narrow light beams and precision beam tracking, AO dynamically corrects signal distortions caused by turbulent air and office windows. In addition, AO makes it possible to create an all-optical FSO system that takes laser light from the customer's telecom equipment, sends it through the air and puts the light back into another fiber at the receiving end without optical-to-electrical conversions.

Free Space Optics, Willebrand
"Our product's capabilities are very different than anything available in the market today and will set new standards for distance, bandwidth, operation through windows and easy installation. We are confident our breakthrough technology will move FSO from niche-applications to wide-spread carrier deployment in metro markets," explained Tony Shakib, CEO of AOptix. "We are extremely pleased to be backed by four top-tier investors." Shakib, previously General Manager and Vice President of Nortel Networks Broadband Access Group, together with his seasoned management team, have decades of experience successfully developing and selling access products to the carrier market worldwide.

According to David Aslin, Director with 3i, the team did its homework. "Over the course of the last several years, we looked at many FSO technologies. AOptix clearly stands out as a dramatically better solution, allowing network operators to add new customers and bandwidth with capital expenditure that fits today's significantly reduced budgets." He further added "the company's leaders have a high level of knowledge and experience, a network of contacts with key industry players, and the vision necessary to grow a successful business."

"FSO provides a compelling value proposition to service providers in that it enables them to roll-out high bandwidth services to areas that cannot be cost-effectively addressed by fiber," said Brian Paul, Senior Vice President with Lehman Brothers' Venture Capital Group. "With the Company's proprietary Adaptive Optics technology, AOptix is the only FSO vendor to provide a solution that meets service providers' distance, reliability and throughput requirements."
Full Press Release

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