ATLANTA–Flexlight Networks Inc., an optical access company, said it has raised $17 million in third round venture funding.

St. Paul Venture Capital, Accel Partners and Applied Materials Ventures were new investors. Previous investors, Concord Ventures and Coral Ventures, also contributed to the round.

The company also said it appointed Bill Cadogan, general partner with St. Paul, and Joe Golden, general partner with Accel, and Fahri Diner, general partner with Applied Materials to its board.

“FlexLight’s innovative technology provides a robust and scalable platform for overcoming bandwidth bottlenecks in the last mile,” said Bill Cadogan of St. Paul Venture Capital. “This, combined with the cost savings the solution offers, will prove to be a highly compelling proposition to operators and service providers.”

“FlexLight has continually exceeded corporate and technical milestones and is now well positioned to become a leading long-term player in the optical access market,” said Joe Golden, General Partner, Accel Partners.

The passive optical network (PON) equipment market is estimated to reach over $1 billion in 2004, according to CIBC World Markets Estimates. A recent report from Probe Group, LLC, states that 80 per cent of global PON equipment revenues through 2008 will be for fiber to the building deployments.

Founded in September 2000 by a team of experienced optical network specialists and telecommunications executives, FlexLight Networks’ sells a suite of Gigabit PON optical access products.

Flexlight Networks