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Playing fantasy M&A with the Benchmark/Accel open source investment portfolioMatthew Aslett, May 5, 2009 @ 9:16 am ET
Javier Soltero, former CEO of Hyperic, has maintained that the sale of Hyperic to SpringSource was driven by discussion between himself and SpringSource CEO, Rod Johnson, but the fact that the companies shared investors – Accel Partners and Benchmark Capital – no doubt accelerated the deal (and I wonder whether either could have afforded to acquire the other without shared investors).
When examining the open source vendor landscape it is tempting to imagine that the combined total could be bigger than the sum of its parts – that a combination of many open source product specialists could mount a challenge to Red Hat and Sun to claim the title of biggest open source software vendor.
Benchmark and Accel are among the most prolific investors in open source vendors (ranking second and joint-third according to the data in our recent CAOS report into investment in open source vendors).
Between them they could assemble a pretty formidable open source software player. Not only are they both investors in SpringSource/Hyperic but they are also currently invested in:
Terracotta – Both
Aptana – Accel
Alfresco – Accel
Cloudera – Accel
Coverity – Benchmark
CollabNet – Benchmark
Eucalyptus Systems – Benchmark
Engine Yard – Benchmark
Pentaho – Benchmark
New Relic – Benchmark
OpenX – Accel
Not all of these would complement SpringSource but with some others it is very easy to see how they would add value to the company’s development and management capabilities. While we are playing fantasy M&A, consider the vendor that could have been assembled with these former investments:
XenSource – Accel
JBoss – Accel
Red Hat – Benchmark
Zimbra – Both
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