Cisco Systems Inc is buying Jasper Technologies Inc., a start-up that connects devices such as cars and medical devices to the Internet, for $1.4 billion. This is considered as the largest acquisition of Cisco since 2013.In addition to connecting devices to the Internet, Jasper makes a software platform that helps monitor these devices once they are online. Rob Salvagno, Cisco’s Vice-President of Corporate Development, said in an interview that the Internet of Things has been a priority for Cisco for the past few years. Cisco, which has acquired dozens of smaller companies over the years, is shifting its business toward high-end switches and routers and investing in new products such as data analytic software and cloud-based tools for data centers. Jasper is the largest deal for Cisco since it acquired security company Sourcefire for $2.7 billion in 2013.
The company is seen as a big player in the Internet of things, the burgeoning sector of connected gear. Jasper was also a Fortune unicorn, tech jargon for a startup worth $1 billion or more.
In 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company was planning a possible initial public offering. But it chose to sell instead, at around the price of its latest private valuation.
The closely held company, founded in 2004, provides services to help customers connect and monitor things like cars, jet engines, manufacturing tools and medical pacemakers.