Cisco Buys Networking Firm Meraki for $1.2B Acquisition

Cisco’s been on a shopping spree lately as the networking space aggressively takes on a rapidly transitioning demand for mobile connectivity.  The industry leader acquired privately-held networking firm Meraki for $1.2 billion in cash, according to a release that went out this morning.  The San Francisco-based startup sells switches, enterprise wifi, and management services to companies that are looking for a more agile approach to supporting their users.

Meraki’s solutions are in high demand among small to medium enterprises, schools and other organizations that are moving to the cloud, adopting BYOD, or doing a bit of both. The main appeal is the fact that Meraki’s offerings are primarily software-driven, which greatly simplifies administration and helps increase efficiency in the long run.

“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. These companies have the same IT needs as larger organizations, but without the resources to integrate complex IT solutions,” said Rob Soderbery, senior vice president, Cisco Enterprise Networking Group.

Meraki was founded by three MIT students in 2006, and raised $80 to date from Google, Felicis Ventures, and Sequoia Capital. The company will become a part of Cisco’s new San Francisco Cloud Networking Group, but will retain its identity and customer relations.

Cisco is getting very aggressive about modernizing it’s networking technology. They recently acquired Cloupia, a maker of hybrid cloud management software that raked in $125 million. Cloupia is used for converged infrastructure like NetApp Flexpod, EMC VSPEX, and VCE Vblock.  The company will be integrated into Cisco Data Center Group by the end of this quarter.