Cisco to acquire privately-held cloud networking start-up Meraki for $1.2 bn

Cisco Systems Inc, the world's largest maker of computer-networking equipment, yesterday said that it is acquiring privately-held cloud networking start-up Meraki Inc for $1.2 billion in cash in order to expand its cloud computing business in new markets.

The acquisition comes barely a week after Cisco paid 125 million to buy Cloupia, a developer of software that helps data centre operators manage their resources.

Under the terms of the deal, San Jose, California-based Cisco will pay approximately $1.2 billion in cash and retention-based incentives to acquire the entire business and operations of Meraki. Cisco expects the acquisition to close in the second quarter of its fiscal year 2013.

Founded in 2006 by members of MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science, Meraki is funded by private equity firm Sequoia Capital and Internet giant Google.

Meraki technology offers customers Wi-Fi, switching, security and mobile device management centrally managed from the cloud. Meraki solutions support BYOD, guest networking, application control, WAN optimisation, application firewall and other advanced networking services.

Based in San Francisco and with offices in New York, London and Mexico, Meraki combines a high-velocity software development methodology with a tightly linked inside sales and channel model that will form Cisco's new Cloud Networking Group.