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Herzliya-Pituach based MemLink, a designer and manufacturer of optical switching solutions based on MEMS technology, raised $5 million from existing investors in a financing round completed at the end of 2001, to help finance its operations until the beginning of 2003. The company is planning to launch a $30 million to $40 million financing round in the second half of 2002, Shahar Gorodeisky, PhD., president and COO of MemLink told TheMarker today.

The four leading investors in MemLink took part in the funding round completed in Q4 last year. They are Redwood Venture Partners, Oak Investment Partners, the VC fund of Lucent Technologies (NYSE:LU), Lucent Venture Partners, and the Jerusalem based Israel Seed Partners.

In August of 2000 Memlink raised $21 million according to a $60 million valuation from the same four investors.

Gorodeisky, a former top executive in ECI Telecom (Nasdaq:ECIL) believes that the next round will be held according to higher valuation, in spite of the crisis in the global optics market.

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Memlink develops and manufactures scalable all-optical switching solutions based on MEMS technology targeted initially for optical cross-connect (OXC) applications at the core of long-haul and metro networks.

The company is planning to launch field trials with leading communications equipment and optical solution providers in the summer. Gorodeisky says the company has already agreed to co-operate with leaders in the field, such as the Ciena Corporation (Nasdaq:CIEN), Ciena Alcatel, Cisco Systems (Nasdaq:CSCO), Sycamore Networks (Nasdaq:SCMR), Fujitsu and the NEC Corporation (Nasdaq:NIPNY).

Lucent Technologies (NYSE:LU) and Nortel (NYSE:NT) develop technologies that compete with MemLink's.

In spite of the global telecommunications market crisis, which had telecoms spending less on new and improved equipment, MemLink did not have to revert to any cost cutting measures, claims Gorodeisky, especially since the optic switches sector posted improved performance lately, when Ciena, a leading player in the field, posted a 27% sales growth to $367 million in the quarter that ended in late October.