White Rock in a hard place.

Byline: Ed Gubbins

White Rock Networks entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy and suspended operations late last month, dismissing all but about 10 of its 80 U.S. employees while it courts buyers. In nearly seven years, the optical equipment vendor collected about $60 million in revenue from 140 customers. But after having amassed $172 million in five rounds of funding (from investors including Tellabs), White Rock could no longer return to the well. CEO Lonnie Martin spoke with Telephony last week about the company's fate.

On White Rock's downfall: Our rate of sales was not covering all our expenses. To compete against the likes of Fujitsu, Cisco and Nortel, you have to have a minimum cost structure, and if you can't get to and beyond break-even, the only answer is to keep getting funding from your investors. …

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