Ex-Cisco Execs Sell Mist Systems To Juniper Networks For $405 Million


Juniper Networks said Monday that it agreed to buy AI-powered networking startup Mist Systems, a company founded by former Cisco Systems executives, for $405 million.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Mist, which made CRN’s 2018 Emerging Vendors list, has built what it calls the world’s first AI-driven wireless platform, which it says makes Wi-Fi more “predictable, reliable and measurable.” In addition, Mist developed what it says is the networking industry’s only AI-driven virtual assistant, Marvis, to simplify wireless troubleshooting and give a detailed look into client and network behavior.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper said that the acquisition will expand Juniper’s presence in the rapidly growing cloud-managed segment of the wireless networking market.

In a blog post, Mist Systems CEO said that “by integrating Mist’s cloud-management and advanced AI engine into the balance of Juniper’s enterprise portfolio, we are setting ourselves up to continue to lead the transition to the software-defined enterprise.”

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“Mist Systems is a great fit for Juniper and for our enterprise customers,” said Rami Rahim, CEO of Juniper Networks in a statement. “Juniper and Mist share a common strategic goal. We believe in the Software-Defined Enterprise and Mist’s focus on bringing AI to IT is consistent with our core belief that we need to simplify operations and improve customer experience while lowering costs. With Mist, we are adding a market leading solution to complement our portfolio, drive the cloud transition within the enterprise and accelerate our enterprise growth.”

Hajela was previously at Cisco, where he was senior vice president of Product Management and Strategy for Wireless LAN, Campus and Data Center Switching and Campus Routing Portfolio. Mist co-founder Bob Friday was previously VP and CTO at Cisco, where he was responsible for Cisco's enterprise mobility strategy and strategic initiatives. Another co-founder, Brett Galloway, was at Cisco as senior vice president from 2005 until 2011.

Mist Systems, which has a total of 150 full-time employees, had raised a total of $88.4 million in funding since its founding in 2014, according to Crunchbase. Asked if all Mist employees would be joining Juniper, a company spokesperson said that “Mist employees will be welcomed to Juniper from day one, where they will continue to focus on their innovations.”

The acquisition is expected to close in Juniper Networks’ fiscal second quarter, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Juniper Networks’ stock hovered around $27 as trading ended on Monday.