US-based Lightyear, a provider of software to buy and manage business telecom services (internet, voice, WAN, data centre) through a single dashboard, raised US$ 13.1M in a Series A round of funding on 15 July 2021.
Investors: The funding round was led by Ridge Ventures with participation from Zigg Capital and other individual investors. The total capital raised by the startup stands at US$ 16.8 million.
Purpose of the funding: The funds raised by the company will be utilized to boost hiring and resources in the development and go-to-market functions.
Founded in 2019 by Dennis Thankachan and Ryan Schrack, Lightyear builds software for companies to power their telecom lifecycle from procurement to renewal. The companies can configure their service online, get validated best-price quotes and have implementations managed. Lightyear will handle all the future maintenance issues and renewals for them. The startup is headquartered in New York.
By going to Lightyear’s online marketplace, companies can interact with vendors and get a range of price quotes to make a more informed buying decision. Lightyear says that it has been able to gain customers by offering a new way to procure network resources, which was a great improvement over manual negotiating.
Lightyear claims to have experienced 4X growth in just nine months since its last round in October 2020. Its relationships with 400 vendors in October has grown to more than 500 vendors today. The startup has also doubled its number of employees to around 20.
What the CEO has to say: “Last year we launched Lightyear, which was the first tool for buying your telecom infrastructure on the web. And although changing behaviours and the way that enterprises have done things for years is difficult, the status quo in telecom has been zero transparency, no web-based ways to do things, and oftentimes interfacing with really, really large vendors where you have no negotiating leverage even if you’re a big enterprise. That experience was so poor that a lot of enterprises were extremely happy to see what we put in the market.” — Dennis Thankachan, CEO and co-founder.
What the investors have to say: “As a former CIO and someone who has led global technology operations, it’s refreshing to see Lightyear transforming the way business infrastructure gets bought…I wish Lightyear existed during my years as a CIO.” — Yousuf Khan, a partner at Ridge Ventures. He will be joining the board of Lightyear under the terms of the deal.
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