Arik Hesseldahl

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Anaqua, IP Management in the Cloud, Lands $100 Million From Insight

Anaqua, a Boston-based company that specializes in managing intellectual property assets like patents, trade secrets and trademarks in the cloud, has landed an investment from the private equity firm Insight Venture Partners.

Terms were not disclosed in the announcement, but sources familiar with the deal peg the amount of the investment at about $100 million. Previous investors are being bought out under the terms of the deal. Those investors weren’t named, but the firm took a $4 million investment in 2006 from Northstar Global Partners. Jeff Horing and Alex Crisses, both managing directors at Insight, will take seats on the company’s board.

Anaqua’s software platform is intended to help large companies keep track of and protect their IP assets from infringement. Its customers include Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Ford and Kimberly-Clark. Another typical customer: Law firms with big IP litigation offices. The company says its platform is used to manage $500 billion worth of IP assets.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work