Why Cisco Is Buying Fluidmesh

By Amit Chowdhry ● April 12, 2020
  • Cisco is buying a company called Fluidmesh, which is. hardware and software company that builds point-to-point networks and wireless mesh networks

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) recently announced it is buying a company called Fluidmesh. Fluidmesh is a hardware and software company that manufactures wireless point-to-point networks along with wireless mesh networks. The terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Fluidmesh’s products typically move data from the Internet of Things (IoT) devices on the edges of networks towards larger networks. And Cisco said it would be using Fluidmesh’s products to support the demand for “on-the-move critical assets and applications.” Fluidmesh’s technology was built to provide zero loss of data transfer within high-speed assets, including rail, subways, public transit, and ports.

Cisco’s infrastructure business saw a decline over the past two quarters due to the COVID-19 pandemic, increased competition, and volatile markets caused by the trade war with China. Fluidmesh — which is based out of New York City and Milan, Italy — was also likely hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and the trade war.

The integration of Fluidmesh’s technology would bolster Cisco’s offerings in the industrial IoT market. Cisco is known for typically offering bundles of hardware, software, and service for its larger customers. And by offering advanced technology for IoT customers through the acquisition, it could provide Cisco with some upselling opportunities.

Fluidmesh’s technology provides reliable and resilient wireless solutions for mission-critical applications whether it is high-speed rail and mass transit or large-scale distributed sites like ports and urban settings where signal strength can be challenging. And Fluidmesh’s solutions are quick to deploy and configure thus offering customers a cost-efficient and low-maintenance solution.

Cisco’s scale — combined with Fluidmesh’s solution-based offerings and relationships with systems integrators — will accelerate the network giant’s industrial IoT business to enable successful industrial wireless deployments, broaden the reach to key customer segments, partners, and end-users.

The number of networked devices is expected to increase from 18.4 billion in 2018 to 29.3 billion in 2023, according to The Motley Fool. This sharp increase will require enterprise companies to upgrade their networks with the latest technology offerings from Cisco.

“Cisco provides one of the most secure and reliable networking technologies on the market today,” said Liz Centoni, Senior Vice President and General Manager IoT at Cisco. “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.”

This acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2020 subject to customary closing conditions and required regulatory approvals. And the Fluidmesh team will join Cisco’s IoT business.

Disclosure: I own a small number of Cisco shares directly and via ETFs and mutual funds