Cisco acquiring cloud infrastructure startup Meraki for $1.2 billion

In a Sunday announcement, bigwig networking company Cisco Systems revealed that it is acquiring the 2006-founded privately-held cloud infrastructure startup Meraki for approximately $1.2 billion.

According to the terms of the acquisition deal, which will likely be finalized in Cisco's fiscal second quarter in 2013, Meraki - which is backed by companies like Google and Sequoia Partners - will become Cisco's new Cloud Networking Group.

With Wi-Fi, switching, security, and centrally cloud-controlled mobile device management being the key services which Meraki offers to its clients, the acquisition of the company will further strengthen Cisco's cloud computing services, giving it the ability to add products which enable networks to be controlled via the Internet.

Since Meraki - with its 18,000 customer networks in 145 countries - has carved a niche for itself by giving the regular hot spot users one of the largest wireless mesh networks, and also for being the first company to bring Wireless-N to the outdoors, Cisco said that its strategic acquisition of Meraki comes in the wake of the IT industry' advancement towards the "mobile-cloud era."

Meanwhile, describing Cisco's acquisition offer as an attractive one, Meraki CEO Sanjit Biswas said in a letter to the Meraki staff that Cisco understands the startup's team, culture, and environment; and added: "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."