Sunday, November 16, 2008

Citrix acquires audio conferencing startup

U.S. infrastructure software maker Citrix Systems Inc (CTXS.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has acquired venture capital-backed start-up company Vapps Inc for $26.6 million, according to a regulatory filing.

The acquisition marks Azure Capital's third exit this year, in an economic downturn that has limited opportunities for the venture capital industry.

Azure invested in Vapps, a Hoboken, New Jersey, provider of audio and video conference calling technology in 2007. Citrix disclosed the acquisition in a Nov 5 regulatory filing.

Last month, eBay Inc (EBAY.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) bought Azure-funded Bill Me Later, an online payments service, for $945 million. In January, Azure sold WorldWide Packets to network solutions provider Ciena Corp (CIEN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for $300 million.

Azure's strategy of studying companies before deciding to invest in them and keeping investors actively involved in its decision-making process has paid off, said Paul Weinstein, a general partner at the firm. "In good and bad environments, it works," he said.

Venture capital firms raise money and invest in start-ups, hoping for huge returns when the companies go public or are sold.

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