News & Politics

6 Times Washington Tech Firms Cashed Out

Photograph via iStock.

An “exit” is Silicon Valley slang for what happens when a start-up is acquired by a larger corporation—ideally, the founders then transition out of the company with a huge payout and all of their wildest dreams fulfilled. Though selling one’s company to a conglomerate might not seem like the most disruptive, innovative thing an entrepreneur can do, it does have its benefits for the local tech ecosystem. Suddenly that founder is free to start a new company or to invest in other start-ups. Here are a few of the biggest local exits of the past two years.

$2.9 Billion

Price paid by a private investment group, Golden Gate Capital, for Neustar, a Sterling marketing-tech firm, in late 2016.

$1.65 Billion

The events-software company Cvent was taken private by Vista Equity Partners for this sum in November.

$1.2 Billion

Amount that EMC, a cloud-computing corporation, paid in May 2015 for Bethesda’s Virtustream.

$621 Million

What Oracle spent to acquire the local start-up success story Opower, an energy-efficiency software company, last May.

$100 Million

The cybersecurity start-up Invincea—founded in 2009 in Fairfax—was scooped up by Sophos, an antivirus company, for this much in February.


Once heralded as DC’s next billion-dollar giant, LivingSocial met an ignominious end when its former competitor, Groupon, bought it in October for an undisclosed price, saying the amount was “not material.”

This article appears in the May 2017 issue of Washingtonian.

Staff Writer

Michael J. Gaynor has written about fake Navy SEALs, a town without cell phones, his Russian spy landlord, and many more weird and fascinating stories for the Washingtonian. He lives in DC, where his landlord is no longer a Russian spy.