Case Study:

Acacia Communications

“Summit has been an outstanding partner for Acacia, delivering tangible value in several ways. Their extensive industry network, unique perspectives on the optical networking sector, and solid strategic guidance have helped position Acacia for growth.”

Raj Shanmugaraj Acacia Communications

Raj Shanmugaraj, President and CEO

Acacia Communications
Maynard, MA

Raj Shanmugaraj
Benny Mikkelsen

Founded in:
invested in:

IPO 2016
Acquired by Cisco 2021

Case Study:

Acacia Communications

Ultra high-speed coherent optical interconnect solutions

Grew revenues by more than 10x during Summit’s investment

Tripled employee headcount

Completed IPO (NASDAQ: ACIA) in May 2016—the first venture-backed tech IPO of 2016—and exceeded a market cap of $1.2 billion within the first month of trading

Acacia was founded in 2009 with a vision to lead the optical networking industry into the 100G+ era. As one of the first vendors to launch a 100G subsystem with coherent detection in 2011, Acacia established an early leadership position in a rapidly growing market, with demand driven by network upgrade cycles as communications providers work to meet exponentially rising bandwidth demands. Seeking to accelerate R&D efforts to capitalize on the market opportunity, we believe Acacia chose to partner with Summit based on the firm’s deep communications technology experience, particularly its expertise in the optical networking sector.

How Summit helped:

  • Led a minority investment in 2013
  • Supported management in the recruitment of key executives as the company scaled, including an SVP of Operations who led significant improvements in Acacia’s supply chain
  • Recruited John Ritchie – a CFO with extensive public company experience – to the Board of Directors and to serve as Chairman of the Audit Committee
  • Advised management on the establishment of comprehensive systems and controls to strengthen financial reporting
  • Assisted Acacia in preparing for and executing its 2016 initial public offering (NASDAQ: ACIA)

Acacia continues to innovate, driving the “siliconization of optical interconnect” with products that are transforming cloud, content and communications networks. By converting optical interconnect technology to a silicon-based technology, Acacia significantly reduces the complexity and cost of high-speed networks while providing improvements in speed, capacity and power consumption.