Intune Networks Raises $32.5 Million

Intune Networks, a Dublin, Ireland-based telecom equipment supplier, has raised $32.5 million in new VC funding. Kernel Capital and financier Dermot Desmond co-led the round, and were joined by Enterprise Ireland, Invest Northern Ireland and return backers Balderton Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners and Spark Capital.

Intune Networks, the Dublin based telecoms equipment supplier, today announced that it has secured $32.5 million in its most recent funding round. Financier Dermot Desmond, through an investment vehicle (“Dermot Desmond”), and Venture capital firm Kernel Capital led the investment with additional funding provided by existing investors Balderton, Amadeus, Spark Capital as well as long term private investors. In addition, Enterprise Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland participated in this round of financing, to support Intune’s growth in Dublin and Belfast respectively.

The funding round, which was facilitated by Bowen Advisors, is the largest private equity investment in the global telecoms optical equipment sector in 2009. It is also the largest private equity investment round in the European telecoms equipment sector and the third largest in the European IT sector this year.

Tim Fritzley, CEO, Intune Networks said: “We received an extremely positive response to our recent fundraising road show and are delighted to have brought new investors, Dermot Desmond and Kernel Capital, on board as well as securing additional support from our existing investors and both governments, north and south of the border.

“The funding will be used for the full commercial product launch in mid 2010, as well as for expanding market coverage beyond the European carriers on into North America and Asia. There are tremendous global opportunities for Intune Networks to roll out its innovative technology to help revolutionise how next generation networks and web services are developed and delivered. We are now fully resourced and sufficiently funded to take advantage of these opportunities, to grow the company in new geographies and to cement our leadership in markets where we are already established.”

Dermot Desmond said: “I have given my support because we are firmly of the view that Intune Networks has developed a disruptive technology that will change the way that telecommunications services are delivered. I’m also delighted to have the opportunity to invest in an Irish company that has developed such a ground breaking technology. More innovation of this kind will help to reinvigorate the North and South economies.”

Niall Olden, Kernel Capital noted, “It’s a testament to the strength and potential of Intune Network’s technology that it has successfully raised funding in the current economic climate. I look forward to watching Tim Fritzley and his team further grow and develop the company as it rolls out its highly innovative telecommunications technology following ten years of research and development.”

Intune Networks was named to lead the Government’s programme to build Ireland’s Exemplar Smart Network in July 2009. The network will be the first step in creating a next generation smart and green communications infrastructure for Ireland. The decision to develop the network using the Intune Network’s technological approach was announced by Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan at the publication of ‘Technology Actions to Support the Smart Economy’ strategy document.


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About Intune Networks

Intune Networks was founded in Dublin in 1999 by John Dunne and Tom Farrell, both UCD graduates who were researching laser technology in European funded programmes. Over the next 10 years, Intune developed and refined its technology to solve a critical problem in the optical networking sector and this solution is now being brought to market as a family of telecom switch products. Along the way, Intune supplied expertise and technology to many European and US research programmes building a customer base of the world’s leading academic and commercial research groups. Now, Intune is focussed on the telecoms equipment market where the next generation of digital service requirements such as quality of experience and high bandwidths are creating a new global opportunity. Intune currently employs 120 people and has design centres in Dublin and Belfast.

The problem Intune has solved is how to evolve network architectures to cope with the massive increase in unpredictable traffic demand while sustaining profitability and controlling costs. They have achieved this through their breakthrough technology named Optical Packet Switch and Transport (OPST). Intune has packaged this breakthrough technology into a carrier-grade networking system which will be available for deployment in 2010. Network operators all over the world are currently trying to solve this networking issue, and a large global market exists for Intune’s new product line. Early versions of the products are already on trial with several large European operators having validated the core technology performance over the past 2 years.

About Kernel Capital

Kernel Capital is one of Ireland’s largest and most active venture capital funds. Established in 2002 the firm has an excellent portfolio of investee companies across, technology, life science and general industry. With investment funds of €170M under management through Kernel Capital and its associate company Seroba Kernel. The firm targets investment opportunities in the €250K to €5M range. All sectors and all stages of a company’s development are considered. The firm maintains an open mind on the method of investment, judging each proposition on its merits. The Kernel Team has been instrumental in numerous corporate finance and IP licensing transactions totalling several hundred million Euros.