Startups Venture

Lightyear Powers Enterprise Networks with $3.7M Financing

Lightyear, a New York-based company developing a web platform for enterprises to buy, manage and organize their spend on telecommunication and network services, raised a financing round of $3.7 million.

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The company is targeting companies’ mission-critical systems–such as internet, telephone, network and cable–that businesses have been buying for decades, but often don’t change their providers.

“We are trying to make the process of buying enterprise telecom and infrastructure like buying socks on Amazon,” Dennis Thankachan, co-founder and CEO told Crunchbase News.

The 1-year-old company’s platform includes more than 400 telecom and IT service providers and enables customers to configure their services, receive price quotes and have the implementation project managed by Lightyear upon quote selection. After installation, the platform provides network management capabilities and an automated renewal.

The funding round is a combination of pre-seed and seed funding led by Amplo with participation from a group including Susa Ventures, Ludlow Ventures, Mark Cuban and Operator Partners.

“IT infrastructure procurement is a huge industry that hasn’t been updated meaningfully since the early 2000s,” said Sheel Tyle, general partner and founder of Amplo, via email. “Lightyear is set to disrupt that through a digital-first, customer-centric approach and we are thrilled to support them.”

The company intends to use the new funding for product development and to build momentum within users of the product. Lightyear has 10 employees currently after being a three-person team prior to the seed round, Thankachan said.

The business telecommunications market is valued at $300 billion in North America, and is not only highly competitive, but also legacy-heavy and sleepy, he said.

“You are going up against the status quo, and the vast purchases are made by phone calls and emails directly to providers,” Thankachan added. “When you are manually doing it, it is hard to do an exhaustive search and make a well thought-out decision.”

In terms of growth, Thankachan could not disclose numbers, but said that Lightyear is being used by several large enterprises and is in talks with additional companies.

Next up, the company remains heads down and focused on adding features.

“There is a ton of interest in the products even though we have spent almost nothing on marketing, “ he said. “Our company is doing well, and COVID-19 was an accelerant for companies to save money, and that is a powerful angle for us.”

Illustration: iStock

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