Riverbed acquires Zeus for $140m – A win for Cambridge, DFJ Esprit and SEP

Riverbed Technology, which manages networks, has acquired Zeus Technology which runs software-based load balancing and traffic management for the cloud. The deal is worth $140m. Zeus was backed by VCs DFJ Esprit and Scottish Equity Partners.

Cambridge, U.K. based Zeus Zeus developed software-based scalable application delivery controllers otherwise known as ADCs, which support VMware, Xen, HyperV and KVM. Zeus has about 1,500 customers worldwide, including seven of the top 10 telcos, cloud service providers, broadcasters, and e-commerce companies.

Riverbed will pay approximately $110 million in cash for the securities of Zeus and up to an additional $30 million in cash based on targets over the next year.

Riverbed has also wrapped up an acquisition today of Aptimize Limited, a web content optimization startup. The two companies will now form an asymmetric optimization platform for Riverbed.

It’s notable that this is something of a rise from the ashes because DFJ Esprit led a re-capitalisation of Zeus in 2004, with SEP leading a Series A round in 2005 – and went on to help build out the team from there.

Andrew Davison, a Partner at SEP says “we were confident that the company had some very strong technology.” Nic Brisbourne, a Partner at DFJ Esprit notes that over the last 7 years Zeus has taken the company “from restart to category defining global leader.”

So, trebles all round.