Deals

Citrix buys venture-backed Vapps for $26.6 million

Citrix said today it bought audio-conferencing services firm Vapps for $26.6 million in cash. If Vapps continues to perform well, it will get an additional $4.4 million from Citrix. Counting options, the value of the deal is $34 million at most.

The deal is a small one, but Azure Capital Partners, the largest investor in Vapps, said that it got a 3.6 times return on its investment over 18 months. It amounted to a 125 percent internal rate of return for Azure.

Vapps is the third exit for Azure this year, after Bill Me Later (bought by eBay last month for $945 million) and Worldwide Packets (bought by Ciena for $300 million in January). To date, Azure has generated more than $200 million in liquidity for its limited partners in 2008.

Azure is racking up quite a scorecard among the venture firms that have started since 2000. It was the only VC firm in VMware, and it had a stake in TopTier, bought by SAP for $400 million in 2001. Paul Weinstein, a partner at Azure said that Vapps raised less than $5 million, including money from Azure’s second fund.

“Despite the economic situation, we know there’s a lot of big companies out there with cash and they will probably want to use it to buy future growth,” Weinstein said.

Citrix disclosed the deal in a 10-Q filing today with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Vapps is based in Hoboken, N.J. Citrix makes infrastructure for delivering applications over the web to devices such as thin clients. Citrix could use Vapps’ audio in its web collaboration offerings.

Vapps was founded in 2002 and brought its solution to market in 2005. The company generates revenue from the minutes of use for its audio conferencing, which is based on “high definition voice,” or high quality conferences for calls with dozens of people. Vapps has around 18 people.