Xensource goes missing with $500million!

View over Trinity College, Gonville and Caius, Trinity Hall and Clare College towards King’s College Chapel, seen from St John’s College chapel. On the left, just in front of Kings College chapel, is the University Senate HouseImage via WikipediaOn 22 October 2007 Centrix announced the $500million acquisition of Xensource for $500million payable in a mixture of cash and Citrix stock. Xen appears to have started in the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratories where one of the founders, Ian Pratt, works. Ian Pratt is named as the founder of Xensource in this bio of Simon Crosby and it states that “Simon was a tenured faculty member at the University of Cambridge, UK, where he led research on network performance and control, and multimedia operating systems”. The press release 15 august 2007 states “for approximately $500 million in a combination of cash and stock, which includes the assumption of approximately $107 million in unvested stock options.”.

Tech Confidential spills some of the beans ” You don’t hear as much about Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sevin Rosen as you used to. Kleiner Perkins is busy investing in anything but consumer Internet companies while Sevin Rosen decided against raising another fund last year. But, they are still cashing checks. The pair invested $6 million in a first round investment in January 2005 into XenSource, an open source virtualization startup that agreed to be purchased by Citrix Systems for $500 million.That’s a big hit for the duo. Other beneficiaries include Accel Partners, Ignition Partners and New Enterprise Associates“.

Silicon Beats mentioned the investment round and commented “Silicon Valley’s best-known venture firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, has teamed up with Sevin Rosen Funds to invest $6 million in XenSource, of Palo Alto.

XenSource offers a so-called open source virtualization technology, which we’ll leave for open source fans to comment on. But as XenSource’s folks put it, virtualization “allows enterprises to realize significant savings from server consolidation running multiple operating systems and mission critical applications on a single server.”

Kleiner’s Kevin Compton and Sevin Rosen’s Nick Sturiale will join the board. Founders include the leader of the Xen project, Ian Pratt of the University of Cambridge, Nick Gault, an enterprise software veteran and formerly founder of Network Physics, and Open Source veteran and openMosix leader Moshe Bar. Pratt and his co-founders at the University of Cambridge will continue todevelop the technology and manage the Xen Open Source community project, the company said.”

Now that is a lot of wonga. Where did it all go? How much stayed in Cambridge? Was Cambridge Enterprise involved? It would have ranked as one of their top investments. If not, why not? Why was such a good deal funded outside of the Cambridge Cluster? Did any of the Cambridge Angels or the other groups invest? There is no trace of Xensource on the Cambridge Evening News website. It would make a great Equity Fingerprint and case study but I guess it was registered in Delaware and so all the details are not available. Hopefully the Cambridge Cluster has a couple or ten of new angels to keep turning the wheels. Just think what the Cambridge Cluster could have done with $500million……

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