The Deal: Cisco Systems Buys Whiptail for $415M

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NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Cisco Systems said Tuesday it will acquire venture capital-backed Whiptail Technologies in a $415 million deal that would boost the networking giant's solid-state memory capabilities.

The Whippany, N.J.-based target is a maker of scalable solid-state memory systems that allow organizations to simplify their data centers and process higher volumes of data in less time.

Cisco said in a statement that next-generation applications such as virtual desktops and data analytics are taxing traditional storage array systems, creating demand for the products Whiptail makes.

Post-deal Whiptail would be integrated into San Jose-based Cisco's computing systems product group.

"We are focused on providing a converged infrastructure including computer, network and high performance solid state that will help address our customers' requirements for next-generation computing environments," Cisco group general manager Paul Perez said.

"As we continue to innovate our unified platform," he added, "Whiptail will help realize our vision of scalable persistent memory which is integrated into the server, available as a fabric resource and managed as a globally shared pool."

Solid-state drives are a hot commodity of late. On Monday, data drive maker Western Digital said it would acquire another firm, Virident Systems, for $685 million.

Cisco frequently makes bolt-on acquisitions to round out its product offering, doing deals in 2013 including a $2.7 billion purchase of network security software maker Sourcefire and a $475 million purchase of wireless firm Intucell.

Whiptail was founded in 2009 and had received more than $40 million in venture funding. Its last raise was a December 2012 $31 million Series C round from investors including Ignition Partners LLC, RRE Ventures LLC, SanDisk Corp. and Spring Mountain Capital LP, according to The Deal Pipeline.

An Evercore Partners Inc. team including Eric Mandl, Jeff Reisenberg, Vikram Rao, Jason Chen, Sean Lee and Harrison Lieberfarb advised Whiptail.

Advising Cisco were Fenwick & West LLP lawyers Douglas Cogen, Andrew Luh, Stephen Gillespie, Kee Kim, Chris Joslyn, Morgan Fong, Liz Gartland and Thomas Kang.

--Written by Lou Whiteman