Cisco Makes Meraki Move, Eyes Cloud Dollars
The Meraki acquisition comes hot on the heels of Cisco's $125 million purchase of cloud automation and management specialist Cloupia last week.
With the market already packed with its switches and routers, the networking giant is keen to boost its growing cloud services business. During its recent fiscal first quarter, the company's service revenue climbed 12% year-over-year, compared to 2% declines in both its switching and next-generation routing businesses.
Meraki touts technology for Wi-Fi, switching, security and mobile device management, which is managed from the cloud. With a growing number of businesses letting employees hook their own smartphones and tablets up to corporate networks (a phenomenon known as Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD), Cisco sees an opportunity to tap into this trend through the Meraki.
In addition to BYOD, Meraki also supports guest networking, application control, WAN
"The deal is consistent with Cisco's strategy to bolster its software and services offerings to drive greater recurring revenues at higher margins," wrote Amitabh Passi, an analyst at UBS, in a note. "We believe Cisco approached Meraki a few weeks ago with the offer looking to bolster its cloud networking portfolio, while Meraki will benefit from Cisco's global reach."
Passi maintained his buy rating and $22 price target on Cisco.
Funded by Sequoia Capital and Google(GOOG) , Meraki was founded in 2006 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Ph.d candidates. The San Francisco-based firm has racked up more than 10,000 customers, which include Burger King(BKW) , hotel giant Accor and DineEquity's(DINE) Applebees.