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Citrix Acquires South Florida Startup

Melissa Pallett-Vasquez

South Florida’s tech startups are causing a commotion in the industry — and tech giants are taking notice.  In hopes of enhancing its mobile workplace delivery platform, software behemoth Citrix Systems announced last week that it had acquired Virtu.al, a four-month-old IT security startup in Delray Beach, Florida, for an undisclosed amount.

Citrix’s latest acquisition gets them not just the technology, but also Virtu.al’s personnel. Virtu.al’s technology team, including CEO Chris Wade, are expected to join the Citrix team and help transform Citrix’s mobile application infrastructure to simplify IT security management. Chris Fleck, vice president of Mobility Solutions at Citrix and based out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, took notice early on of Wade and his team’s inventiveness and mobile security-related skills. Moreover, Fleck recognized that Virtu.al’s technology could be used to solve an incredibly expensive and complicated problem afflicting mobile app developers. Developers often have to test their apps across multiple mobile operating systems, such as the various versions of Apple iOS and Android operating systems. This testing often eats up huge chunks of developers’ budgets.  Virtu.al’s technology allows developers to virtualize this process in the cloud.

This acquisition is indicative of the transforming talent pool in the tech industry in South Florida. If a company like Citrix, which boasts over 9,500 employees globally and $2.9 billion in revenues in 2013, is investing in South Florida’ tech ecosystem, then South Florida and its developing tech community must be doing something right.

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