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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

August 2, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Delve sold to Limelight, expanding in Seattle

After four years and several overhauls of its business strategy, Seattle startup Delve Networks was sold today to Limelight Networks, an Arizona-based content delivery network.

The price was undisclosed but one report – based on unnamed sources – pegged it at $10 million, a notch above the roughly $7 milion that Delve had raised from investors.

“I’m certainly very happy,” said Delve Chief Executive Alex Castro, a veteran of Microsoft and Amazon.com.

Castro’s company started as a podcasting venture called Pluggd and, after a name change in 2008, morphed into a video delivery platform for Web publishers.

Delve’s grown to 20 employees and 120 customers, up from fewer than 20 customers in early 2009.

Castro said he’d been talking to a number of suitors before the deal was reached with Limelight. “We were having conversations with a lot of folks, we had multiple people interested, multiple people who made offers,” he said.

Delve was at a point where it needed to either make a big investment in a bigger sales team or hook up with a company like Limelight, which already has the reach.

“We’ve been growing rapidly,” he said. “To keep up that pace we would have had to build out a much larger sales organization.”

Limelight’s going to add Delve to the stack of technology it offers customers – including Castro’s former employers in the Seattle area.

The deal comes as online video service providers have begun consolidating, but it’s also part of Limelight’s effort to build up its technology team and presence in Seattle. It already had some technical people and sales reps supporting customers here but Delve is its first full Seattle office, according to Paul Alfieri, marketing vice president.

Alfieri said Limelight bought Delve as much for the people as its products.

“At the end of the day the talent of the engineers and the resumes and the experience are actually what make acquisitions like this work,” he said.

The company is expected to continue expanding in Seattle in the coming year but Castro wouldn’t specify the plans.

“This is about growth,” he said of the deal. “We’re not closing the office, we’re not moving, we’re not getting rid of folks.”

Alfieri said more details about the acquisition may be disclosed around the time Limelight reports its earnings on Aug. 5.

Comments | More in | Topics: Delve Networks, Digital media, limelight networks

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