9 In 9 Months: Here Are The Cisco Acquisitions So Far In 2023
The networking giant has been busting open its wallet to buy nine companies and startups so far this year as it continues to build out its Security Cloud, as well as its observability and network performance stacks.
Networking giant Cisco Systems has been aggressively working on several goals, including stepping up its security game with a unified approach to its cybersecurity portfolio in the form of Security Cloud, as well as prioritizing its observability and network performance stacks. To that end, the company has spent 2023 breaking open its piggy bank.
San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco has revealed plans for, or closed, nine technology acquisitions in the first nine months of 2023. Of those deals, four are focused on security. The spending spree has included a networking security startup and an identity threat protection and response company. On the network performance side of the house, Cisco’s ThousandEyes segment is expected to gain technology from three companies during Cisco’s fiscal first quarter of 2024, which ends in October.
Of the six deals that Cisco closed so far this year and three it plans to close in the next couple of months, the company only disclosed one price tag—Working Group Two for $150 million.
From networking performance to cloud security to mobile core development, here are the nine companies that Cisco has acquired or unveiled plans to buy so far this year.
In its first acquisition of 2023, Cisco in February said it would scoop up cloud network security startup Valtix.
It’s been no secret that Cisco has been on a mission to build out its security portfolio unification strategy, Cisco Security Cloud. Five-year-old Valtix, a San Jose neighbor to Cisco, specializes in multi-cloud network security for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Oracle. Combined into Cisco’s security portfolio, Valtix is bringing a layer of visibility between public and private cloud networks to simplify the operational burden for security teams, Cisco said of the aquistion.
Previously, Cisco was a strategic investor in Valtix. The two companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal, which closed on March 31.
Cisco in March followed up its Valtix deal by unveiling plans to acquire cloud security software company Lightspin in the effort to further its mission to unify its security portfolio.
Formerly privately held, Lightspin specializes in end-to-end cloud security posture management across cloud-native resources. Cisco and Tel Aviv, Israel-based Lightspin together are working to meet their shared goal of helping customers modernize their cloud environments with end-to-end security and observability from build to runtime, the company said in a blog post on the acquisition.
Financial terms of the deal, which closed May 24, were not disclosed.
In its third deal of the year, Cisco in April revealed plans to buy Smartlook, a provider of qualitative analytics for websites and mobile apps as the company works to boost Cisco AppDynamics’ Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM).
Smartlook was a privately held company based in Brno, Czech Republic, that specializes in Real User Monitoring (RUM) as a critical component of DEM. Cisco AppDynamics, the company’s application performance monitoring software business, combined with Smartlook, will give Cisco a “big step forward” with its Full-Stack Observability (FSO) DEM offering, with new application and user experience insight, analytics and troubleshooting capabilities, Cisco said at the time.
Financial terms of the deal, which closed June 29, were not disclosed.
At the end of May, Cisco revealed plans to nab Armorblox, a company that has pioneered the use of Large Language Models (LLMs) and natural language understanding in cybersecurity, as the company makes steps toward its plans for an AI-driven Security Cloud.
Cisco said that it plans to take advantage of Armorblox’s use of predictive and generative AI across its security portfolio to change the way customers understand and interact with their security control points.
The deal was closed on July 14 and the Armorblox team joined Cisco’s Security Business Group.
Accedian, a provider of software for monitoring and analyzing network performance and already a technology partner to Cisco, is slated to join the company, Cisco said in June.
Cisco and Montreal-based Accedian in the past collaborated to offer Skylight, a platform for near-real-time network performance monitoring, analytics and assurance within the Cisco Crosswork Network Automation platform for service providers. Accedian’s sophisticated network performance and user experience monitoring capabilities for cloud service provider customers will give Cisco the opportunity to link that data into Cisco ThousandEyes’ cloud for end-to-end network assurance, the two companies said of the deal that has yet to close but is expected to by the end of Cisco’s fiscal year 2024.
The Accedian team will join Cisco’s Data Center and Provider Connectivity organization within Cisco Networking.
Just days after the announcement of the Accedian deal, Cisco on June 27 revealed it would grab privately held broadband-network monitoring company SamKnows for an undisclosed amount.
Like Accedian, SamKnows’ technology will be integrated into Cisco’s ThousandEyes cloud-based network intelligence software. The London-based company will expand ThousandEyes’ view of global internet health thanks to the addition of SamKnows’ millions of vantage points into the last mile that will give customers a single view into how the internet is performing across their entire infrastructure, including home and mobile device networks, Cisco said in a blog post on the deal.
Cisco expects the SamKnows acquisition to close in the first quarter of its Fiscal Year 24.
July saw Cisco make plans to buy identity threat detection and response (ITDR) startup Oort as the tech giant continues to make headway toward becoming as well-known for its security expertise as its networking. Specifically, Oort’s identity-centric technology will enhance Cisco Security Cloud’s user context telemetry.
Cisco was no stranger to the company, having been a strategic investor in Boston-based Oort since 2022. Oort was founded by Cisco alum Matt Caulfield, an entrepreneur, and former Cisco engineer for 10 years who has a background in cloud, networking and data.
The two companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal, which closed Aug. 31.
Right in time for the start of the tech giant’s fiscal 2024, Cisco on Aug. 1 revealed it acquired Code BGP, a privately held Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) monitoring company to increase Cisco’s BGP monitoring capabilities and grow the company’s pool of internet research and engineering talent, according to Cisco.
Greece-basedCode BGP is being absorbed into Cisco ThousandEyes, the company’s network intelligence arm that Cisco picked up via acquisition in 2020. The deal will expand on ThousandEyes’ BGP monitoring capabilities to give the business unit a global view of internet health, Cisco said in a blog post on the purchase last month.
The two companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.
Working Group Two
Cisco in August unveiled its intent to acquire cloud-native mobile core developer Working Group Two (WG2) for $150 million.
Cisco partnered with WG2’s parent company and telecommunications giant Telenor Group for its launch in 2017. The technology, when integrated, will help “turbocharge” Cisco’s Mobility Services platform, which provides a cloud-native converged core network and distributed edge support, was unveiled in February.
WG2 got its start as a development project within Norway-based telecommunications company Telenor Group before it was spun out with Telenor as a cornerstone investor in 2017 alongside digital infrastructure investment firm Digital Alpha. WG2 offers a cloud-based core network platform for mobile operators. Norway-based Telenor Group said that via the terms of the deal, Cisco will acquire all shares in the company for an enterprise value of $150 million.