Sub10 merges with US firm

March 2015

In March 2015, BGF portfolio company, Sub10 Systems agreed a merger with US venture capital backed company Fastback Networks.

Fastback, which is based in San Jose, California, delivers innovative mobile infrastructure technology, enabling network operators to deliver enhanced wireless solutions to its customers. Fastback is a privately owned company funded by Foundation Capital, Granite Ventures, Harmony Partners, Juniper Networks and Matrix Partners.

BGF remained as a minority investor in the enlarged entity. Fastback and Sub10 have collectively received financing of over £30m. All of the previous investors in the two companies are participating investors in the new combined company.

The merger created a group that is able to provide high performance backhaul solutions essential to the deployment of LTE, LTE-A, VoLTE, 4G and 5G mobile networks. The new entity converges Sub10 and Fastback’s powerful and proven technology platforms and intellectual property to enable the industry’s first hybrid – sub 6GHz and mmWave – Any Line of Sight™ backhaul solutions.

The new combined group has revenue growth and funding to accelerate and scale customer contracts, enhance customer service and support capabilities, and invest in on-going product development. This new entity of 75 people continued to be headquartered in San Jose, California. The Sub10 Systems operation in Devon became the new European headquarters for Fastback. The combined group is taking immediate advantage of Fastback’s North American sales and marketing presence and strengths, and vice versa for Sub10’s European presence and strengths. Manufacturing operations, once combined and consolidated, will produce significant economic benefits and geographic advantages.

The merged company operates as Fastback Networks and the founders and existing executives of both companies lead the new business. Fastback co-founders, Kevin Duffy, CEO, and Kevin Negus, CTO remain in the same roles. Sub10 Systems co-founders joined the executive team of Fastback with global responsibility. Stuart Broome joined as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer responsible for the company’s efforts to drive revenue globally.

Sub10, which is based in Newton Abbot, was BGF’s first investment in a Devon-based business. BGF first invested £2.5m in Sub10, the specialist designer, developer and vendor of class-leading millimeter wave wireless solutions for mobile telecoms, in November 2013. Sub10 and its shareholders were supported in the transaction by Acuity Advisers who identified Fastback as the perfect partner.