March 25, 2006
Bush keeps getting creepier
I was reading Brad Feld's excellent venture blog and he had this post about Bush getting in the way of an Israeli-US tech merger (www.feld.com/blog):
Our Government Thinks Open Source Isn't Safe in Foreign Hands
Check Point and Sourcefire announced the cancellation of their deal on Thursday. This was a very nice deal for Sourcefire and its investors, as Check Point was paying $225 million for the company. Sourcefire had raised a total of about $33 million so the early investors, including Sierra Ventures, probably made about 15x, NEA which was a round 2 investor probably made about 10x, and Sequoia – which was a round 3 investor, probably made about 3x.
"... If an Israeli-based company can’t buy a US-based security startup, why would the US government let a China-based company do this? As a VC or an entrepreneur, if you take this out to it’s logical conclusion, you get unhappy really fast.
I’m offended because – as a jewish American and an investor in high tech companies – the notion that our government is willing to block the sale of an entrepreneurial company to an Israeli company because the Israeli company is a threat to US security makes me want to vomit. This is the same government that recently decided to share civilian nuclear technology with India. Now, I’m not tied up in the politics of it all, nor do I want to be, but when I step back and look at it from an entrepreneurial perspective, and think about all of the Israeli security technologies that have made their way into US products (and - in a number of cases – become meaningful US-based companies), I just feel like someone in Washington needs a major history lesson."