Cisco to acquire startup Leaba Semiconductor

Cisco says it has agreed to acquire Leaba Semiconductor, a venture-backed fabless semiconductor developer. As the Israeli company is in stealth mode, not much is known about Leaba, other than Cisco's assertion that Leaba's team has "a strong and successful track record of designing leading edge networking semiconductors." However, Cisco has determined that whatever the company is doing, it's worth spending $320 million in cash and assumed equity awards to buy it.

Cisco says it has agreed to acquire Leaba Semiconductor, a venture-backed fabless semiconductor developer. As the Israeli company is in stealth mode, not much is known about Leaba, other than Cisco's assertion that Leaba's team has "a strong and successful track record of designing leading edge networking semiconductors." However, Cisco has determined that whatever the company is doing, it's worth spending $320 million in cash and assumed equity awards to buy it.

Once the acquisition is completed (Cisco hasn't revealed when they expect to reach this milestone), Leaba team will report into Cisco's Core Hardware Group.

"This acquisition advances our innovation strategy, supports continued differentiation of Cisco products and delivers on our goal to provide best-in-class solutions for our customers," wrote Cisco's Rob Salvagno, vice president of corporate development, in a blog post. "By combining Leaba's semiconductor expertise with the Cisco engineering team, we will accelerate our plans for Cisco's next generation product portfolio and bring new capabilities to the market faster."

Just how the team will do this remains a mystery. Leaba isn't providing many hints, describing itself as "a fabless semiconductor company operating in stealth mode to provide innovative solutions for significant infrastructure challenges" on its website.

Leaba CEO and co-founder Eyal Dagan formerly worked at Broadcom and was CEO and co-founder of Dune Networks as well as vice president of R&D at MRV. CTO Ofer Iny also worked at Broadcom, Dune, and MRV. Adam Fisher, a partner at Bessamer Venture Partners, lists himself as a Leaba board member on his LinkedIn profile.

Reuters quotes a source it describes as familiar with Leaba as suggesting the deal is less about Leaba's technology and more about its expertise. PCWorld says it has uncovered information from Israel's Ministry of Industry that indicates Leaba's work was focused on the data center.

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