HP Acquires Opsware for $1.6 billion

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The last time you heard of a Web 1.0 success story was probably a long while back — until today. HP announced today that it is acquiring Opsware, an IT automation company founded by Marc Andreessen for $1.6 billion (or $14.25 per share). Check out Andreessen’s blog post here along with a good back story.

Opsware was started as ‘Loudcloud’ in September 1999, managed to raise $350 million during boom time, and went bankrupt in 2001. They did, however, make a return in 2002 as a public company and were able to turn into a market leader in IT automation software for businesses after, with more than $100 million in annual revenue.

So how does what does all this remotely have to do with Web 2.0? Not much, but it’s interesting to see a Web 1.0 boomer ‘exit’ in today’s day. How Opsware was able to come back as a valuable player in the ‘down time’ days and still walk away is beyond me — out of everything, I think it really points to good management by Andreessen and his team, and some intuition to keep going. Wonder what’ll happen to his next venture Ning — trillion dollar exit in 2012?


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