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Calix raises $100M, eyeing stimulus

Calix has raised $100 million in new funding in part to help the privately held access equipment vendor take advantage of the federal government’s broadband stimulus program.

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The new capital consists of $50 million in new equity and $50 million in debt from Silicon Valley Bank. It accompanies the addition of three new directors: Michael Marks of Riverwood Capital, Adam Grosser of Foundation Capital, and Robert Finzi of Sprout Group.

Calix has been involved to some degree with over 100 projects submitted for the first round of funding and suspects the second and third rounds could draw far more participation.

“Everybody’s going to watch what happens in this round, and then you’re going to see a whole lot of gaming in the second round,” said Carl Russo, Calix’s chief executive officer. “People are going to watch who won awards, why they won, why they didn’t, and you’re going to see reinterpretations of the rules. I don’t know that the rules will change, but you’ll see a lot of lobbying. There’s a lot of people that may not choose to be in round one and are public about, ‘Well, this is not for us;’ if you think for a moment that they’re not going to be back in right after round one, you’re dreaming. This is not going be three tranches of the same rule set done the same way.”

Calix won’t disclose its total funding to date. The company exited stealth mode in 2003 with a $50-million E round that brought its total funding to more than $260 million. And it raised another $57 million in the summer of 2007.

Calix recently announced some new hires specifically to pursue stimulus opportunities. And although the company won’t disclose its current headcount, Russo said it has never enacted any workforce reductions as long as he’s been CEO, a role he took while the company was still in stealth mode.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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