Cisco sets out plans to acquire Meraki for $1.2bn


Acquisition broadens networking titan's cloud product portfolio

Cisco has announced plans to acquire cloud networking company Meraki for $1.2bn (£754.7m) in cash.

Meraki was founded as an independent company in 2006, having evolved from a research project at MIT, and claims to be the first cloud-managed network infrastructure provider. Its services offer mid-market customers on premise networking products that can be centrally managed from the cloud.

In a statement, networking giant Cisco said the addition of Meraki’s cloud networking products will expand its offerings by providing scalable solutions for mid-market businesses. The acquisition also complements and expands the company’s strategy to offer more software-focused products and strengthens its Unified Access platform, the statement added.

Senior vice president of Cisco Enterprises Networking Group, Rob Soderbery, said: “Meraki’s solution was built from the ground up optimised for cloud, with tremendous scale, and is already in use by thousands of customers to manage hundreds of thousands of devices.

“The acquisition of Meraki enables Cisco to make simple, secure, cloud managed networks available to our global customer base of mid-sized businesses and enterprises,” Soderbery added.

In a letter to employees, CEO of Meraki, Sanjit Biswas, said being approached by Cisco was “an unexpected event for Meraki,” and that the leadership’s initial reaction was to turn the acquisition offer down.

“[However], after several weeks of consideration, we decided late last week that joining Cisco was the right path for Meraki, and will help us achieve our goal of having maximum impact,” Biswas continued, adding that all three founders plan to stay on.

“We continue to be transparent with you all, and while some things like our email addresses, etc. will change in our day-to-day operations, we will ensure the important things, like our culture, stay the same,” he concluded.