US- and India-based wimax company has received private equity funding of $51 million. The investors in this round of funding included Daiwa Securities Group, Daiwa Securities SMBC Principal Investments Company, Ridgeway Capital Partners and India Knowledge Fund (a venture capital fund in partnership between SoftBank of Japan and SBI Capital markets).
This funding takes the total funds raised by Indian-founded Soma to $226 million. The capital will be used for continued expansion of international operations of the company. Soma has tied up with state-run telecom operator BSNL for the largest WiMAX deployment in the country covering four states (Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Goa) in three circles. Part of the funds raised would also be deployed in this project.
“We are in a position of strong international growth in emerging markets, as service providers around the world are realizing the far reaching benefits of deploying our WiMAX system technologies,” said Yatish Pathak, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Soma Networks. Some of the clients of Soma Networks include Malaysia-based Jaring, AlwaysOn Networks of Bangladesh, Cambodia’s Data Systems, among others. Their system has been deployed by carriers in the United States such as AT&T, and by network operators in Eastern Europe and Africa.
Soma Networks claims to be the first broadband wireless access company to offer fully converged, all-IP solutions. Headquartered in San Francisco, it has offices in Toronto, Ottawa, Gurgaon, and Singapore. Some of the investors in the company include Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Temasek Holdings, Mizohu among others.
There has been quite a lot of funding activity in WiMax segment. Telsima Corporation had raised several rounds of funding from NewPath Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, CMEA Ventures and JAFCO Asia to the tune of $80 million. Last year Telsima raised working capital debt of $25 million from SVB Silicon Valley Bank.
Reliance Technology Ventures Limited (RTVL), the corporate venture capital arm of Reliance ADAG, made an undisclosed investment in Sequans Communications, a France and US based company that provides WiMax chips. Last year, along with Sequoia Capital, RTVL invested in US-based Stoke Inc. It also invested $10 million in E-Band Communications Corporation (EBCC). Recently Reliance Communications bought 100 per cent stake in the UK-based global managed network services provider Vanco for $77 million.
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