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Lights out at Innovance

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Exclusive: The rumors of Innovance’s death might actually be true, according to sources close to the company. At least one of the investors has informed me that the ground breaking optical subsystems company has downed the shutters. The news of dark days at Innovance, an Ottawa, Canada company was reported earlier this month by the Canadian newspapers including The Montreal Gazette

bq. “In all probability, we’ll be moving to closure in the next week or so,” said CEO Peter Allen.The company was close to connecting on its first sale, widely believed by analysts to be Verizon Communications Inc. of New York, North America’s largest phone company. Allen, without naming the customer, said the phone company “loved the product” – a large fibre-optic system – but wanted Innovance to team up with a larger company with a stronger balance sheet. Talks to strike such a deal failed this past weekend.

My sources, however, tell me that the company had bet the farm on a bit Department of Defense contract, and when that did not come through, it was lights out. Innovance founders were part of the dream team that “enabled the first 10G SONET system at NT – installed at Qwest.”

Innovance, had raised around $166 million from investors that included premier venture capital firms such as Morgenthaler Ventures. The company had cut most of its workers earlier this month, according to Canadian news media. The optical meltdown has had a severe impact on many Ottawa start-ups, even though some like Akara have survived by selling themselves to larger players for peanuts. Ciena snapped up Akara recently.

Posted from the cold and lovely Truckee