VCs Score Big In EMC-Isilon Deal

VCs Score Big In EMC-Isilon Deal

Whenever there’s a blockbuster acquisition such as EMC’s $2.25 billion buyout of Isilon, it’s interesting to speculate about what the marriage will mean to customers and competitors. But one angle I never look into is what the acquisition means to the venture capitalists (VCs) behind the acquired company.

According to a blog post on The Wall Street Journal’s wsj.com, the VCs behind Isilon made out quite well (see “EMC-Isilon Deal Is Another Data-Storage Win for VCs”).

According to that article: Atlas Ventures and Madrona Group, which provided Isilon with its Series A funding in 2001, as well as Sequoia Capital, which led the company’s Series B funding, all held significant stakes in Isilon.

Atlas said it will reap $473 million from the EMC-Isilon acquisition, or 20X its initial investment.

Madrona will get more than 15X the $15 million it invested, or $225 million+, according to a Madrona representative.

Sequoia Capital (which apparently did not sell any of its holdings prior to the acquisition announcement), will score $394.4 million.

Isilon was founded almost 10 years ago by Sujal Patel. The company went public in late 2006 at $13 a share. Going public was rocky in the beginning, with shares falling about 50% in the first year. Isilon’s stock price kept sliding through 2008 and 2009, when investors such as Atlas and Madrona added to their holdings.

Under the terms of the agreement announced a couple weeks ago, EMC will pay $33.85 per Isilon share.

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