General Bandwidth – Profile
HQ: Austin, TX
Management: CEO Charlie Vogt joined the company in September 2004, succeeding founder Brendan Mills. He formerly ran Taqua, which was acquired in 2004 by Tekelec. Head of sales Robert Vrij was VP of sales at Lucent.
Investors: GB has raised over $195M in total. In March 2005, the company raised an oversubscribed round of $18M led by Oak Investment Partners, Sevin Rosen, Venrock Associates, Invesco,Thomas Weisel Capital Partners, Trellis Partners, Star Ventures, Wheatley Partners, HLM Protostar (no site), Granite Global, Siemens Venture Capital and Texas Instrument.
Business Model: Company started selling equipment for voice over DSL, but there was no dough there. VoIP equipment manufacturer sold to carriers. Company claims to have made $9.2M in revenue in 2004.
Competitors: Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks, Sonus Networks.
Dirt: General Bandwidth has been a disaster but VCs and corporate investors have kept it on life support. At one point it had a head count of 225, but it is less than half that now. Such failure is somewhat suprising for a company that has been in the VoIP sweet spot, but apparently buyers feel more comfortable working with Cisco. General Bandwidth appears to have done a re-start round in late 2004, with Alcatel coming to the rescue of a company on the verge of collapse by taking a piece of flesh and removing the CEO/founder. At the time, Alcatel was rumored to have taken a 20% stake at a $45M pre-money valuation. For all you marketers, note that General Bandwidth was known for hiring has-been rock bands to play trade shows and that it burned through $50K on one major gig. Rawk on!