endforcelogo.bmpEndforce, the bubble-era network security company that got a lot of publicity when it launched back in 2000, has been quietly sold to Sophos — apparently for a loss.

Endforce was originally named SmartPipes, and aimed to solve the problems businesses have in hooking up their private networks with the public Internet. It won backing from big-name venture capitalist John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins, Jim Clark, co-founder of Netscape, and Tom Jermoluk, of Excite and SGI fame, and generated a lot of ink (see here, for example).

However, the product failed to take off, and the company was restarted back in 2004, with more investment from Kleiner. Newly focused, it targeted network access control (NAC), which refers to control over access to a company’s network from outsiders. Endforce’s NAC software ensure a large company knows who is accessing its network from the outside, what they are accessing and why. It’s important because it lets companies shut out things they may find undesirable, such as P2P apps, VoIP, games, not to mention block viruses, malware and other baddies.

The good news is, Enforce will be put to good use. Ron O’Brien, spokesman for acquirer Sophos, says Endforce’s employees will be retained, and its product is a great addition to Sophos’ anti virus product for the following reason: McAfee and Symantec, the market leaders in NACs, require companies to buy NAC and anti-virus products as a package, a hassle if a customer already has a different anti-virus product. Endforce’s NAC will continue to be sold, and it doesn’t require large companies to rip out their anti-virus products.

The acquisition purchase price of Enforce remains confidential, O’Brien said, but he added that Sophos bought Endforce with cash, and no financing. Sophos is a private company that had $80 million in cash last year. This suggests a loss for investors, which had invested at least $123.5 million into this company.

foundvalue.bmpNo big deal for Kleiner, though, because cross-street rival, venture firm Sequoia Capital, is reportedly seeing one of its companies founder too at least if you believe the Wag. San Francisco’s FoundValue, a company started by Stella Kleiman to help people decide what to sell on eBay –and which even picks items up from your home — saw gross sales of $500,000 in 2005. We contacted the company this morning to confirm its status, but haven’t heard back.