updated 10:18 pm EST, Sun November 18, 2012
MIT research project bought for networking know-how
Cisco has acquired cloud startup Meraki for a reported $1.2 billion. The deal, entirely in cash, sees the networking giant take control of the networking infrastructure service, which offers mid-sized organizations on-site Wi-Fi networking, security, and cloud-based management software at a relatively low cost.
Starting life as an MIT research project, Meraki has grown to 330 employees, and currently supports over 10,000 customers. Before today's acquisition, TechCrunch claims the company had only raised $80 million in funding from investors such as Google and Sequoia, making the $1.2 billion pricetag a considerably hefty return on their investment.
In a statement, Cisco's Enterprise Networking Group senior vice president Rob Soderbery said that Meraki would help Cisco "make simple, secure, cloud managed networks available to our global customer base of mid-sized businesses and enterprises." Adding the software-based systems offered by Meraki to its products, Cisco hopes to make it simpler for business customers to run their networks, especially in the "mobile-cloud era".
Depending on the regulatory review process, Cisco expects to close the purchase in the second quarter of the 2013 fiscal year.