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Tacit Ready to 'Spar With Gorilla'

When wide-area file services (WAFS) startup Tacit Networks Inc. went looking for a president, CEO Greg Grodhaus turned to a familiar face: former InfiniCon Systems Inc.
CEO Chuck Foley (see InfiniCon Names New CEO).

Grodhaus and Foley have a history. Before Foley headed InfiniBand startup InfiniCon, he worked with Grodhaus at three other companies, most recently Inrange Technologies. At Inrange, Foley, Grodhaus, and Tacit CFO Geoff Lapres helped take the switching startup public in 2000 before it was acquired for $190 million by Computer Network Technology Corp. (CNT) (Nasdaq: CMNT) in April 2003 (see CNT Walks Off With Inrange).

So is Tacit looking to follow the same blueprint as Inrange? Its far too early to consider going public. Tacit is barely a year into shipping its appliances that run caching software to compress files to improve performance over WANs. And it’s at least a year from profitability.

There are whispers in the industry that Foley’s role is to find a buyer for Tacit. He says it’s more likely that Tacit will use some of the recent $16.9 million funding Tacit received in May for acquisitions, such as its recent deal for the intellectual property of AttachStor (see Tacit Attaches Patent Portfolio). But when Cisco spent $82 million on Tacit competitor Actona in June, it got Tacit’s attention (see Cisco Acts on Actona). You can bet it caught its investors’ attention, too. Cisco previously owned 17.25 percent of Actona, which made its valuation $100 million.

“Cisco validated the market,” Foley says. “Actona had no customers or GA product, and they went for $100 million.”

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