Likewise sells key product lines, switches focus to storage software

Likewise Software, a Bellevue-based open source software company backed by Ignition, Intel and Trinity Ventures, has sold off its Likewise Enterprise and Likewise Open products to BeyondTrust in a deal of undisclosed size. As a result of the deal, Likewise plans to switch its focus to storage software.

“For Likewise, the benefits are clear: we will accelerate our investment in creating disruptive storage software,” wrote CEO Barry Crist in a letter. “Likewise sits at a very unique intersection of the storage, identity, and security markets; we plan to fully exploit this position. As many of you know, we have quietly become the foundational platform for many of the biggest names in the storage industry. Moving forward we will be making a number of much higher profile announcements.”

Likewise products have been used to help organizations connect Linux, Unix and Mac environments to Microsoft Active Directory. At the end of March, the Likewise Open product had been downloaded by more than 100,000 organizations. In a statement BeyondTrust executive vice president Jim Zierick said that they were attracted to Likewise’s expertise and open source business model.

We have an email into Likewise to determine what the sale means for staffing at the company, and we’ll update the post as we hear more. Founded in 1985, BeyondTrust is based in Carlsbad, California.

Likewise raised a $10 million venture capital round in April 2009, bringing total financing at the time in the company to $27 million. It has been in the storage software business since 2008.

UPDATE: A spokesman said that 17 employees will leave Likewise as part of the asset sale, with 23 people remaining at the company. In order to capitalize on its new product direction, the company is looking to hire another 11 people by the end of the year. (Editor’s note: The post has been update with the correct number of positions Likewise plans to hire this year).