Livingston web security outfit Bloxx sold to US group

INTERNET and e-mail security firm Bloxx, seen as one of Scotland’s most promising technology firms, has been snapped up by a US technology business.
Archangels investment executive Niki McKenzie welcomed the acquisition of Bloxx. Picture: Graeme HunterArchangels investment executive Niki McKenzie welcomed the acquisition of Bloxx. Picture: Graeme Hunter
Archangels investment executive Niki McKenzie welcomed the acquisition of Bloxx. Picture: Graeme Hunter

Investors including members of angel syndicate Archangel Investors and the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) will benefit from the cash deal with Nasdaq-listed Akamai Technologies, the value of which was undisclosed but is likely to be in the millions.

As well as members of the management team at the company, other prominent names on the shareholder register include the likes of Mike Balfour, former chief executive of Glasgow Investment Managers, and Alastair Salvesen.

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Livingston-based Bloxx was established in 1999 and has grown to become one of the world’s leading providers of web and e-mail filtering for businesses and the public sector. The company employs 55 people at its offices in Scotland and Newton, Massachusetts.

Akamai, which specialises in services designed to make the internet faster and more secure for customers, said it was going to maintain Bloxx’s Scottish facility.

“This will be a key location as we retain the Bloxx talent necessary to execute on our strategy, and in support of their legacy business,” a spokesman said.

Akamai said the acquisition was not material to its financials. Latest accounts for Bloxx show that at March 2014 it had net assets of £2.34m.

Niki McKenzie, investment executive at Archangels, said: “We are proud that Archangels has been able to support Bloxx from an early stage to become the significant player that it is today, helping to protect e-mail and internet users across the globe.

“We are confident that the business will thrive as part of Akamai, whose world-leading credentials in content delivery are second to none.”

Kerry Sharp, head of the SIB, said Scottish Enterprise had worked closely with Bloxx since 2003 to provide an “integrated package of support and investment to help the company realise its growth potential”.

“We look forward to Bloxx continuing to flourish as part of the Akamai organisation post acquisition,” she said.

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Archangels has been a mainstay of the early-stage investing scene in Scotland for more than two decades.

The syndicate now has more than 70 investor members and leads investment of around £10m per year in early-stage Scottish companies.

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The firm, which was launched by entrepreneurs Kevin Dorren and Andrew Veitch from a garage in 2008, is now the largest diet food home delivery company in the UK with 150,000 customers and a £15m turnover.

Dorren said it was “important for the company to have the right funding package in place to drive future growth and to work with a like-minded entrepreneurial organisation”.