Chatter pushes Axiowave growth in pursuit of service providers
By INDIA New England Staff
MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — High-tech entrepreneur Mukesh Chatter, who cashed in big during the boom, is again aiming to take the telecommunications market by storm.
With his new start-up, Axiowave Networks, Chatter is again teaming up with Ray Stata, the Massachusetts tech icon. Since founding Axiowave in 2000, the two have collected a total of $52 million in funding and built the company up to a roster of 178 employees.
Chatter and Stata first hooked up as co-founders of Nexabit Networks, which was developing telecommunications routing gear. "I was very fortunate to have him as a partner and mentor," said Chatter.
Communications giant Lucent Technologies acquired Nexabit in June 1999 for what was then $900 million in stock. At the time, Nexabit employed more than 120 people, but had not yet landed revenues.
Chatter became vice president of Lucent's Core Routing Technologies division. In a little less than a year, he had left Lucent and had started up Axiowave.
Stata is the co-founder and chairman of Analog Devices, which in 2000 had 9,000 employees and $2.5 billion in sales.
Axiowave will be making gear that is a combination of hardware and software, said Chatter, Axiowave's president and chief executive officer. The company has not announced a specific product.
He said Axiowave is focused helping the major telecommunications carriers and related service providers to increase their profits, he said. Four-fifths of the company's employees are in the engineering area, he said.
Initially, Chatter and Stata had funded Axiowave's growth. Now, the company's backers include Soros Private Equity Partners, at close to $20 million, and Madison Dearborn Partners, at about $11 million, said Chatter.
Chatter is from the Indian state of Rajhastan.
The story of Nexabit, founded in1997, began when Chatter was granted a patent covering a way to make high-speed routers, he said.
Chatter got the break he was looking for when he convinced Stata of the technology's value. Stata agreed to invest in Nexabit; he became chairman of its board. With Stata on board, Nexabit landed the venture capital Chatter had been unable to get on his own.
The other co-founder of Nexabit was Alexander Dinge.
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