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Kelowna tech firm sold for $28 million

A Kelowna tech-startup has hit the jackpot.

Vineyard Networks announced Monday it has been assumed by a Silicon Valley company, Procera, for $28 million and will continue to develop its network prioritization solutions under the Procera umbrella  right here in the Okanagan Valley.

“Procera is super keen on continuing to grow the company in Kelowna. They not only want to keep the team here, they want to grow the team here,” said Jason Richards, co-founder of Vineyard Networks.

The team includes Richards and co-founders Derek Lownsbrough and Josh Zieske and some 34 other employees.

It’s expected to expand by another 10 to 15 engineers with the deal, a serious boost for the Okanagan technology sector, but also a victory for local investors with shares in the company.

Of the $28 million takeover price tag, some cash was distributed among investors, but the companies and angel investors who took the risk and backed Vineyard Networks are now shareholders in the publicly traded Procera.

“It’s a huge win for a lot of people,” said Richards.

Vineyard Networks designs technology to allow large companies to monitor and make decisions about the information coming in on computer networks.

As Richards explains it, the product was basically designed to allow a company to take that pipe of information coming through its network, take a peek inside and ascertain just what employees are looking at and doing with the network in order to start streamlining and prioritizing information.

Started in 2008, the company was already showing significant progress two years into its development, signing a $2 million deal with the Eurpoean Astaro Internet Security, and was featured in prominent tech magazines as a startup to watch.

Astaro was assumed by Sophos, an award-winning antivirus, email spam protection and endpoint management software company, and is now one of the major clients of Vineyard Networks that will move into Procera as part of the deal.

Procera plans to stay in the same Ellis Street office Vineyard Networks currently works out of with a plan to add another 10 to 15 engineers immediately.

Procera is a network intelligence provider aiming to service all types of networks.

Procera president   and chief executive officer James Brear says the addition of Vineyard will help the company secure greater market share in intelligent policy enforcement.

“The addition of Vineyard…establishes Procera as the clear leader in the high-growth DPI market,” he said.

DPI refers to deep packet inspection or the technical solution that allows the company to open the window and examine what sort of content is flowing through a company’s network.

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