Despite having industry heavyweights at its helm, and almost half a billion dollars in financing, Sigma Networks has blown the money in less than a year and closed its doors.
The Silicon Valley-based telco had raised $145m in venture capital, in spite of the collapse of dotcoms and many DSL providers, and had secured $290m in loans from vendors such as Cisco Systems and EMC to build its line of metropolitan interconnect services.
One reason for Sigma being able to raise the cash was having Reed Hundt, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, as its chairman.
It also boasted veteran executives such as John Peters, a former vice president at Concentric Network, and board members including Marc Andreessen, chairman of Loudcloud and co-founder of Netscape.
"It's like a tidal wave that swept everyone out to sea," Hundt told the press. "We were bucking the tide and thought we would be the last man standing, but we didn't make it."
According to Hundt, the firm's investors became increasingly sceptical about the future and decided to pull the plug early this year before the cash ran out.
The startup, which boasted Cable & Wireless, Telia Internet and Enron among its first customers, attempted to provide high-speed connectivity to businesses, data centres and telcos through fibre-optic metropolitan area networks (Mans).
Sigma had intended to provide application service providers with an array of broadband fibre links to interconnect with the web backbone, aggregation points, data centres and last-mile broadband service providers within the Man markets.
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