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Lightyear Update: Series A and lots of progress

Dennis Thankachan
Telecom is a tough business.

We started Lightyear in mid-2019 with the objective of fixing the problems that had plagued enterprise telecom buyers for decades, but we vastly underestimated the scope of the problem ahead of us. Data on serviceability and pricing is hard to come by, and oftentimes inaccurate. The provider universe is in the thousands, and processes across carriers for quote through renewal are not standardized. There is limited transparency around what constitutes a “good deal” or an above average service delivery. Most importantly, the modern enterprise telecom buyer needs much more than a fancy price quoting tool - implementation project management, inventory tracking, team collaboration, maintenance, billing, and renewals are all major issues, and that doesn’t even cover the full list.

There are good reasons why a software business like ours hadn’t been successfully built before. That said, it’s our deep appreciation and respect for the problem set ahead of us that has helped us achieve so much in so little time to date.

Today, Lightyear boasts 500+ vendor relationships spanning the globe and has processed quotes for tens of thousands of services. We are managing millions of dollars of telecom spend for hundreds of enterprise users, including several public companies. Our time to quote delivery has decreased significantly in the past 12 months, and our average pricing delivered has also improved meaningfully. Lightyear can now do much more than quote - it manages implementations, tracks inventory, and even handles renewals. All of this has been built with a headcount that was only six at the end of 2020 :).

It’s on the heels of this momentum that I’m excited to announce Lightyear’s Series A and a slew of new product features (as well as a product redesign that you’ve probably already caught).

Our $13.1M Series A financing was led by Ridge Ventures, with significant participation from Zigg Capital, Barry Sternlicht (CEO of Starwood), Gokul Rajaram (DoorDash exec, Coinbase Board), Michael Rapino (CEO of Live Nation), Marcus Ridgway (Invitation Homes Founder), and Stephen Klenert (Founder of Atlantic Metro). Our awesome existing investors Amplo, Ludlow Ventures, Susa Ventures, Operator Partners, Contrary Capital, and Darco Capital also participated. Check out TechCrunch, Fierce Telecom, Term Sheet and our press release for some more coverage of the raise.

Joining our Board from Ridge is Yousuf Khan, a multiple-time CIO turned investor (former CIO of PureStorage, Moveworks, Automation Anywhere). I can’t emphasize enough how big this is for us - Yousuf has lived and breathed our problem space for years as an IT leader and shares our vehement drive to solve it. Within two minutes of a product demo to Yousuf, it became abundantly clear that he “got it.” It might be a while before we get another Board member who had been inside an IDF room before!

I’d also like to take a moment to thank our absolutely amazing team. There is zero chance we’d be in this position without the mission-driven hard work and dedication that we’ve been afforded from their end. If you’re reading this and interested in joining the best team in telecom, please reach out!

Let’s fix business telecom.

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