Cisco’s Acquisition Of Inlet Probably Not The Last, Expect Analytics Platform Next
Last Friday, Cisco announced it would acquire privately held Inlet Technologies in a deal valued at $95M. With so many companies getting acquired lately for far less than the money they raised, it great to see that there are still companies in the industry that are worth something. While one of the print newspapers covering the deal called Inlet a "startup", the company has been around for almost ten years and the deal valued Inlet at about two and a half times revenue. Co-founder and former CEO Neal Page, who passed away in 2009, would of been very happy to see Inlet's technology be brought under the fold of Cisco.
Similar to the acquisition Cisco made of Extend Media, valued at around $80M last year, Cisco plans to use Inlet's technology for Cisco's recently announced Videoscape platform. Cisco is betting big on Videoscape with the intent of getting service providers and MSOs to use their platform to deliver video, both on-demand and live, along with social features and other applications. Cisco's big play is to enable MSOs to build their own cloud-based CDN to enable the delivery of all kinds of content, for multiple devices including TV and mobile. It's too early to say if Cisco can be successful with Videoscape, but with the solutions they already offer from their service provider group and the combination of Extend Media and Inlet's technology, Videoscape is clearly going to compete in the market.
The big question is, who will Cisco acquire next? In a call I had with the company last week, Cisco would not comment on what other pieces of the ecosystem they are looking to fill, but if I had to guess, I would think the next acquisition would come from the analytics space. Videoscape has all the functionality it needs when it comes to enabling content owners to ingest, transcode, store, manage and deliver video, but the tracking and analytics piece of the platform still needs to be addressed. Maybe Cisco will just end up building that in-house, but I would not be surprised if they bought someone to fill that need instead.