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Cisco Acquiring Fluidmesh Networks for Industrial IoT Wireless Services

Cisco Systems is acquiring Fluidmesh Networks, a provider of wireless Ethernet radio networks for industrial settings such as railway systems, subways, public transit and shipping ports. Fluidmesh, which has close systems integrator relationships, will tuck into Cisco’s IoT business. The deal is expected to close in Q4 of Cisco’s fiscal 2020. Financial terms were not disclosed.

This is M&A deal number 170 that ChannelE2E has covered so far in 2020. The pace of deals has slowed a bit since the coronavirus pandemic emerged, but overall deal volume remains reasonable steady. See the complete M&A deal list here.

Cisco and Fluidmesh have worked together in recent years, integrating their wireless networking solutions in the railway industry.

Fluidmesh Company History, Cisco Perspectives

Fluidmesh was founded in 2005 by a team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Politecnico of Milan, Italy. The company’s focus on Day One: Deliver fiber-like performance via unlicensed wireless spectrum — providing connectivity for mission critical video, voice, and data, the company says.

Private equity firm Generation3 Capital, in partnership with WF Security Fund, acquired a controlling interest in Fluidmesh in 2011. ChannelE2E does not know if the PE firms had maintained their ownership since that time, and whether those PE firms were involved in the sale to Cisco.

Cisco Senior VP Liz Centoni

In a prepared statement about the deal, Cisco Senior VP Liz Centoni said:

“Cisco provides one of the most secure and reliable networking technologies on the market today. With wireless technology playing a greater role in every organization’s multi-access IoT strategy, reliable wireless connectivity is paramount to organizations operating Industrial IoT environments, whether that’s manufacturing, mining, rail, or ports, where wireless technology automates operations to improve safety and lower costs. The acquisition of Fluidmesh strengthens Cisco’s offerings in this space with leading technology that’s designed to provide zero loss of data transfer at speeds in excess of 300 Km/h.”

Cisco Blends Networking Hardware, Subscription Software

Even as Cisco expands into cloud services and subscription software, the networking giant continues its hardware investments.

In addition to this week’s Fluidmesh deal, Cisco in December 2019 acquired Exablaze, a low-latency networking startup that could boost application performance in such areas as artificial intelligence/machine learning clusters, high frequency trading and high-performance computing (HPC), Cisco says.

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