Cisco Pays $260 Million to Acquire Hybrid Cloud Startup CliQr

After years of lagging behind on innovation in the cloud, Cisco Systems (CSCO) is opting for the acquisitions route as it tries to build a future around the cloud. The company announced earlier today that it would shell out $260 million to acquire CliQr, a cloud management software firm that helps businesses choose wisely between competing cloud vendors.

The 100-person startup builds programs and tools to allow its customers to run their cloud-based applications more efficiently and save cost and time. Users can compare pricing as well as features across various cloud services, and CliQr’s technology provides the flexibility to switch between different vendors according to their specific needs.

Such a concept is effectively called a hybrid cloud, with the ability to transfer computing tasks between internal systems and external data centers run by cloud poineers like (AMZN) and Microsoft (MSFT). Cisco also announced today it was ramping up development of HyperFlex hyperconverged systems, that serve to reduce costs in big-data solutions at large-scale cloud facilities.

“With CliQr, Cisco will be able to help our customers realize the promise of the cloud and easily manage the lifecycle of their applications on any hybrid cloud environment.” – Rob Salvagno, VP Corporate Development, Cisco Systems

Cisco has worked closely with CliQr in the past, and the two companies have already integrated certain system in its switching and cloud platforms. The buyout is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016, and comes only a few weeks after Cisco announced it would purchase Jasper Technologies in a $1.4 billion deal.

M&A appetite for privately held cloud companies has been on an uptrend, with a slump in the IPO market causing several firms to opt against an initial offering, as investor reconsider soaring private tech valuations. Cisco in particular has been keen on investing heavily to expand to its capabilities in the cloud. The company’s shares rose 2.5% on the Nasdaq in today trading session to amid a broader rally in the tech sector.


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