Sunday, March 6, 2016

Cisco Acquires Israel-Based Chip Designer Leaba

Cisco Systems Inc. on Wednesday announced that it has acquired Israeli chip designer Leaba Semiconductor for $320 million. The deal was announced Wednesday in a blog posting by Rob Salvagno, head of Cisco’s M&A and venture investment team.

Founded in 2014, Leaba is a venture-backed fabless networking chip vendor based in Israel. The company has been operating in stealth mode. 

Image credit: GLOBE Israel's Business Arena
Salvagno said the deal with Leaba would advance Cisco’s innovation strategy. “By combining Leaba’s semiconductor expertise with the Cisco engineering team, we will accelerate our plans for Cisco’s next generation product portfolio and bring new capabilities to the market faster,” Rob Salvagno wrote in blog post.

This deal would further the accelerating wave of mergers and consolidation in the semiconductor industry, which shows no sign of slowing down. According to market research firm IC Insights shows that total value of semiconductor industry acquisitions announced eclipsed $105 billion, which  was more than eight times the average annual value of acquisitions by semiconductor companies over the previous five years. 

Israel is getting too much buzz these days, the Middle east country has been a hotbed for major tech acquisitions in recent years. Most of these acquisitions involved major high–tech US-based companies such as Microsoft, PayPal and many more. Last January, Sony acquired Israel-based chipmaker Altair Semiconductor for a whopping $212 million. And more recently, enterprise software giant Oracle has acquired Israel-based virtualization and cloud firm Ravello Systems for $450 million. 

Cisco has been aggressively beefing up its portfolio for the past few years through strategic acquisitions, partnership and in-house development. In July 2015, Cisco unveiled its IoT System, a collection of new and existing products that touch everything from networking and security to management and analytics.

Last year, it acquired Cologne-based startup ParStream, which provides a database for analyzing large amounts of IoT data in near real time anywhere on the network. And recently, it bought IoT specialist Jasper Technologies, which develops and provides a cloud-based IoT service platform that automates the management of IoT service across devices and enables companies to create new business models. 

And just days before the Leaba acqusiition, Cisco announced that it has acquired CliQr Technologies, which sells its CloudCenter cloud orchestration platform.

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