Cisco、企業向けWi-FiスタートアップのMerakiを現金12億ドルで買収

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サンフランシスコジャイアンツがオフシーズンに獲得した大物の名, それはHadoop(?)

ネットワーク業界の巨人、Ciscoが、クラウドインフラストラクチャーのスタートアップ、Merakiを買収することで合意した。私の業界筋の情報源によると、買収価格は12億ドルで、現金で支払われる。さらに私は、Merakiの従業員宛に送られたCEO Sanjit Biswasのレターも入手した。これは従業員330名、サンフランシスコ拠点のこのスタートアップにとって巨大な勝利だ。[アップデートプレスリリースが配信され、本稿の買収に関する詳細と12億ドルの価格が確認された]

Networking NerdおよびThe Wall Street Journalは、最近この買収の憶測について噂に基づいて報じたが、TechCrunchでは価格を含めてこの買収の事実を確認できた。

今年、ある業界情報筋が私に、Merakiの全社会議で配られた財務データをリークした。同社は4000万ドルの調達ラウンドを密かに完了し、年間約6500万ドルを費やし、2012年Q2だけで2000万ドルを売り上げていた。今日の買収前時点で、Merakiの総調達額はわずか8000万ドルだった。つまり、出資者であるGoogle、Felicsis CapitalおよびSequioaは、結構な見返りを期待できるかもしれない。

アップデート:本件に関するCiscoの公式発表。「Merakiの買収は、ネットワーク管理の簡易化のためのよりソフトウェア中心なソリューションの提供、顧客のモバイル人員の能力強化、およびパートナーのために新しい収益機会を生み出すCiscoの戦略を、補完、拡大するものである」

Meraki従業員宛のレターには、Merakiが推定年間売上1億ドルを達成したこと、同社が当初IPOを計画していたためCiscoの買収提案を断ったことなどが書かれている。最近テクノロジー企業のIPOが低い評価を受けていることや、Merakiの独自性を維持する統合計画が出されたことによって、同社はこの「非常に有意義な提案」に合意した。当面Merakiの全部門が現状のまま運用をつづけ、同社はCiscoの新しいサンフランシスコ・クラウドネットワーキンググループ事務所の中心となる。

以下に従業員宛てレターの全文を貼っておいた(原文のまま)。

From: Sanjit Biswas, CEO of Meraki, Inc.

Hi everyone,

As some of you may have heard through Twitter or Google Alerts, there is a rumor out that Cisco intends to acquire Meraki. Our original plan had been to break the news to everyone tomorrow before it was officially announced, but it looks like social media beat us to it!

Given this is a big deal, both literally and figuratively, I wanted to take a few minutes to provide some more context about the upcoming announcement. I’d rather have done this in person at tomorrow’s event, but I think it’s important that everyone at Meraki is in the loop.

First of all, this was an unexpected event for Meraki. When we started out six years ago, we were three guys at MIT wondering where our bootstrapped venture would take us over the next few years. We had some exciting ideas about how to build networks, and knew we wanted to have a big impact on the world, but hadn’t figured out how we would connect the dots. Fortunately for us, our customers helped guide the way for us over the years and were able to organically build an amazing set of products and amazing company together.

This year has been particularly amazing for us (sorry to say amazing three times in a row, but it really has been). We successfully shipped another major product family, achieved a $100M bookings run rate, grew from 120 to 330 employees and did it all while achieving positive cash flow.

So, when Cisco approached with an acquisition offer a few weeks ago, our initial reaction was to politely say “thanks, but we’re planning to do our own thing and take Meraki public”. It turned out that was exactly why they were interested in talking to us — over the past six years, we’d developed an innovative product as well as sales model that was indeed our own thing and unique in the market. They had been hearing from customers, partners and analysts that Meraki had built something truly different, and wanted to see if Cisco could distribute the technology on a worldwide scale through their vast sales channels.

It was a very significant offer, so we took our time to think through its implications. First, we decided to break it down into two major components — the qualitative and the quantitative. Being engineers, the numbers were probably easier to reason about: we had been studying public company valuations, and were able to see the price was an attractive offer and gave us credit for high margins, high growth and great future execution. However, the qualitative portion was harder: would we be able to continue doing what makes us special as part of Cisco?

It turns out the Cisco team also understood how important our team, culture and environment are to us, and came prepared as part of their offer. They outlined a few key concepts that helped us with the decision:

  • Cisco appreciates the way in which we develop innovative products: by focusing on our customers and quickly trying new ideas in both software and hardware. They’d like to see us continue to release new features and products in the years ahead, and hopefully “cloudify” other Cisco products.
  • Beyond technology, they recognized our business model as being highly integrated and customer experience focused. This integration spans across teams, so they’d like all the departments to keep doing what they are doing while figuring out how to leverage Cisco’s distribution channels.
  • Finally, Cisco recognized we built a culture and environment in San Francisco that has helped us recruit and retain phenomenal talent across departments. As a result, they’d like us to be a new “Cloud Networking Group”, based out of SF, fun office, free food and all.

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. As founders, all three of us plan to stay on as leaders of the business unit and look forward to continue towards our goal of $1B in annual revenue. 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.

In terms of what happens next: this week our job is the same as it was last week — to build amazing products and deliver them our customers. We will also continue to operate as a separate company until the acquisition closes, which we expect before the end of Cisco’s fiscal quarter. The plan is for employees to transfer from Meraki to Cisco.

My apologies again for having to send out email about something so important to all of us. We will plan to cover our plans in more detail at tomorrow’s event, which is being rescheduling for 10:00am at the new facility and on WebEx (three hours earlier than originally planned). AJ/Kathy will email out more details about logistics this afternoon.

Thanks, and see you all tomorrow morning,

Sanjit


Sanjit Biswas, CEO
Meraki, Inc.

http://www.meraki.com/

[原文へ]

(翻訳:Nob Takahashi)