LinuxCare rises again

A poster child of the dot-com boom, LinuxCare has rebranded itself “Levanta,” raised another round of capital. BusinessWeek profiles the company though it’s rise and fall and attempt to rise again and I found the details rather amusing.

Levanta sounds a lot like erectile disfunction drug Levitra but it’s possible the company may be able to get their finances up again. Renaming the company seems like an attempt to hide from its past, which BusinessWeek covers in detail. Some highlights from the company’s history.

  1. Raised over $70 million in venture capital, including big names such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
  2. Threw a party for thousands of people at LinuxWorld in New York shortly after raising capital, including many smoke machines, lasers, bands, arcade games, and free food/drink.
  3. Filed to go public in January 2000, despite over $20 million in annual losses.
  4. An abrupt resignation by the CEO and CFO.
  5. Big layoffs in the summer of 2000.
  6. The company landed contracts with SGI, Motorola, and Maxtor in January 2001 and was able to raise a few more million dollars in venture capital.
  7. Changed its name to Levanta, the name of a positively received product, in 2004.
  8. Raises about $14 million in venture capital in 2006.

Founder and former CEO Arthur Tyde is back, helping the company develop new business in Southeast Asia. The former private investigator took the job under encouragement from his therapist to help him “deal with his demons.”

LinuxCare contributed some good cash and code to open source projects over its years, but still remains a poster child of the buzzword exuberance of the late 1990s. The BusinessWeek article made me laugh repeatedly and hopefully some lessons can be learned from the past.


Commentary on "LinuxCare rises again":

  1. Randy Charles Morin on wrote:

    HAha! Haven’t heard the name LinuxCare in years. I always thought it was one of those .COM jokes vapourware jokes. Amazing they are still alive.

  2. Josema on wrote:

    Levanta means in Spanish just like “get up” in English.

    Regards from the southwest of spain (extremadura).


  3. Arthur Tyde on wrote:

    Enjoyed your comments – here are some observations and facts. Linuxcare was founded in 1998 – about 2 years after I founded BALUG (the San Francisco Linux Users Group) Linuxcare funded more contributions to the open source code base than any other single company (except Red Hat) and recently IBM. If you enjoy messing with your TiVo, advanced networking and SAN technologies, and many developments in SAMBA then Linuxcare paid for it. We also launched the Free Standards Group AND the LPI (Linux Professionals Institute) – writing the first checks to fund both these important organizations. Interestingly, companies that burned through far more cash then we did, cheated thousands of investors (by IPOing as LNUX), and wound up in SEC hell seems to have caught a lot less flack than LC. On the other hand, our CEO and CIO (the CFO did not resign – check your facts) resigned because they knew the next stop for both of them would be jail based on other issues that clouded the colorful management team bestowed on us by the all knowing venture capitalists. I am glad you got a chuckle out of all this – a lot of people’s dreams for a great company and community player went up in smoke when LC contracted – and while I did indeed “deal with a lot of demons,” sometimes bad things and people happen for no reason at all. It’s trying to make sense of it all that can put acid in your stomach. Cheers, Arthur…