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Optasite – Profile

December 17, 2004

optasite logo.gif
HQ: Worcester, MA
Founded: 1996, reborn with current model in 2003.
Management: CEO is big-antenna man Jim Eisenstein, who previously was Chief Development Officer for the largest US broadcast tower company – American Tower. He also was CEO of Concourse Communications which makes in-building distributed antenna systems.
Investors: Company did a $25M Series B in December 2004, a $10M Series A in April 2004, and a $3.2M seed round in February 2001. Investors include: Highland Capital Partners, Columbia Capital, Centennial Ventures, Worcester Capital Partners.
Business Model: Optasite buys and operates big broadcast towers for use by wireless and broadband carriers. It’s not dissimilar to buying and renting out office space, except that there are a lot more regulatory management issues and there are advantages to buying in clusters – the whole state of Michigan is worth more to a telco than spotty coverage across the Midwest.
Competitors: American Tower, Crown Castle, SBA Communications.
Dirt: With wireless access being 2004’s ‘it girl’ stocks for tower and antenna companies have done very well. Optasite is in no way a technology innovator, rather it is taking advantage of cash to roll-up towers to either compete with or be bought by the publicly-traded tower companies.

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