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Lara Networks secures $40 million in second round of funding 

Our eFE Bureau  
Bangalore: San jose-based Lara Networks Inc, a network application processor firm has raised $40 million from a group of foreign venture capitalists including Battery Ventures, TeleSoft Venture Partners, Investar Capital plus two other strategic European partners. In the first round, the company had already raised $17 million VC funds from various sources. Briefing the media in Bangalore on Monday, Lara Networks president and COO Jayan Ramankutty said the funds which were already in, would be used to part-fund various expansion activities of the company. The company would focus on two areas including broadband switching solutions and network applications processors besides Internet infrastructure, he said. Ramankutty said Lara Networks would focus on US, Europe, Japan, China, Israel and India. "After India, Taiwan and Japan are going to be dominant players in the space," he said.

The company was expecting a large chunk of its revenue to come from its largest client, Cicso. Lara Networks CEO Kamal Gunsagarsaid with Internet becoming the medium of choice for mission critical applications such as e-commerce, multimedia communications, entertainment and education, increasing pressure was being placed on network processing bandwidth. He said the company's current focus included developing a set of broadband switching solutions for the optical Internet based on 1 Gb s Ethernet technologies. To jump-start its broadband switching solutions development, Lara Networks had recently acquired WarpCom Technologies, an Ethernet switching firm in San Jose. "The acquisition of WarpCom is a strategic attempt by the company to rapidly diversify into the fast growing LAN, MAN and WAN areas," Gunsagar said.

Lara Networks Inc was formed in July 1997 and in December 1999 the company was split into two --Lara Networks Inc (silicon chips) and Empowertel Network Inc (telecom solutions and switches).

...To set up first overseas subsidiary in India shortly
Lara Networks will set up its maiden overseas subsidiary in India within a fortnight. "All paper work and legalities are expected to be completed in two weeks," Ramankutty told eFE. Based in Bangalore, the subsidiary -- Lara Networks India Pvt Ltd -- will be headed by HR Pradeep (director India Development Centre). The company will invest over $2 million in India over 12 months, he said.

The company might also open offices at Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Trivandrum from where it already had enquiries, he said. Lara Networks has set up its first offshore development centre in Bangalore. Initially, the centre will have a personnel strength of 15, Ramankutty said.

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