The path for a startup can have three outcomes: never fail and keep existing, get acquired, or IPO.
For a commercial open source startup like NGINX, the matter gets a bit more complicated because attached to the company is the tech, the open source project, and the community. The transition is more than just an exit to a new stage, it requires a far more calculated choice to ensure things don’t change, too much. Change always happens.
Gus Robertson, CEO of NGINX, writes:
With today’s news, our vision and mission don’t change. We’re still helping customers build distributed application architectures. We’re still building a platform that optimizes ingress‑egress traffic and APIs. And we’re still helping companies on their journey to microservices. What does change is our trajectory. F5 shares our mission, vision, and values. But they bring to bear a tremendous amount of additional resources and complementary technologies.
And make no mistake about it: F5 is committed to keeping the NGINX brand and open source technology alive. Without this commitment, the deal wouldn’t have happened for either side.
Also, from the official announcement…
…F5 will acquire all issued and outstanding shares of privately held NGINX for a total enterprise value of approximately $670 million, subject to certain adjustments.