January 8th, 2021
By Réza Malekzadeh, General Partner
Marc Rougier, Raphael Maunier, Benjamin Schilz & Réza Malekzadeh (from left to right)
F5, the leader in application security and delivery, just announced their acquisition of Volterra for an aggregate consideration of $500M ($440 million in cash and approximately $60 million in deferred consideration). At Partech, we could not be happier for the Volterra team which included our original investment in Acorus Networks, an investment of our PEF 3 fund.
We invested in Acorus Networks back in 2018 along with Elaia, working with Marc Rougier on the deal. Marc and I met the team early on and spent considerable time with them, impressed by their backgrounds and achievements to date. The company was founded by two hard working entrepreneurs who demonstrated vision and ability to execute to us. Benjamin Schilz is a telecommunication engineer with a background in cloud security and web hosting and Raphael Maunier, is one of the co-founders of France-IX, the premier internet peering service provider in France and has a very solid experience in the telecom and network industries. This was a great founding team with a solid vision to develop an innovative & customizable solution to address complex, sophisticated DDoS issues for enterprise and service provider companies alike. Their protection services are especially important for companies whose business activity, data or image depends on the Internet.
They went to market quickly and were able to sign up prestigious customers and rapidly establish their leadership in Anti-DDoS software. Along the way, they also demonstrated expertise in deploying high performance infrastructure in the form of POPs (Points of Presence) across the world. They did so with speed, high quality and strong cost-efficiency. They quickly grew the team and their revenue.
In July 2019, Acorus Networks merged with US-based Volterra, the first universal edge-as-a-service platform. So, we naturally joined the Volterra journey alongside our friends at Elaia and joining Silicon Valley-based Khosla ventures and Mayfield as well as strategic investors Microsoft, Samsung and Itochu. The technology developed by Acorus was fully integrated in Volterra’s solutions and the team took the leadership for the infrastructure part of the Volterra offering.
And now, F5, (NASDAQ: FFIV), the Seattle-headquartered specialist of app security and delivery announced the acquisition of Volterra, recognizing the strong vision the company had developed and brought to market. This $500M exit is an incredible testament to the hard work the combined teams had been doing at Volterra. Benjamin and Raphael had joined the team led by Ankur to roll out the Edge-Computing offering with industry recognition and incredible customer momentum despite the COVID 2020 we just went through.
This is also big news for the edge computing and cloud companies whose value is proven by this acquisition. The 2020 pandemic stressed the need to shift to the cloud and accelerated digitization of physical experiences. That caused massive spikes in global Internet traffic while creating new attack vectors that impact the security and availability of our increasing set of daily apps. Volterra’s broad set of performance and security capabilities addressed these challenges. By helping their customers adopt multiple cloud providers to achieve scale and reliability, they also improved uptime by enforcing advanced security at the edge of the network.
Cloud infrastructure and edge computing are an incredible universe for VCs and at Partech, we’ll continue to look for the next gems out there!
I can’t wait to see the next step of the journey that Ankur, Benjamin and Raphael will lead through F5. More greatness to come and I was humbled to be a small part of this journey: incredible team, industry changing vision, world-class execution!