Small cells

SpiderCloud: A Small Cell Acquisition Target?

SpiderCloud, one of the last small cell startups standing, could make a tempting M&A target.

Here's a thing: There really aren't a lot of small cell startups left for larger vendors to buy, particularly not ones with a steady and growing revenue stream.

That's why it's interesting to look at SpiderCloud Wireless and consider its future. The enterprise small cell startup has been said to be considering an IPO in the future, but that isn't the only option for the company. (See Could Market Volatility Hurt Tech IPOs?)

From what I've heard, a sale could also be an alternative.

So let's look at some of the possible buyers:

The obvious choice
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) would seem to be the clear choice as a potential acquirer. SpiderCloud and Cisco have a fruitful partnership, which is helping to increase the startup's revenue while further cementing Cisco's reputation as a frontline player in the wireless enterprise market. (See Cisco to Resell SpiderCloud's Small Cells.)

But Cisco might be a bit wary of another small cell acquisition. The company didn't have a huge success in buying Ubiquisys in 2013 and didn't end up with the 3G and 4G small cell product line it had hoped for. (See Cisco Buying Ubiquisys for $310M and Cisco's Small Cell Boss Is Gone.)

Other possibilities
SpiderCloud also has a partnership with NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701) and has worked on a customer project with Nokia Networks . (See SpiderCloud Spins Web of Small Cell Partners .)

SpiderCloud has trash-talked Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC)'s Dot efforts in the past but could help provide the vendor with a ready-made enterprise small cell customer base. (See Ericsson's Radio Dot Receives Mixed Reception.)

For more on small cells, head to the small cells content channel here on Light Reading.

The wild card
An outside possibility in this M&A scenario is HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) The vendor bought enterprise WiFi provider Aruba Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: ARUN) in March for $3 billion in cash. SpiderCloud could be seen as a nice enterprise 3G and 4G complement to that buy, and HP clearly isn't shy about spending money to get what it wants. (See HP Sets Sail for Aruba.)

The price
Money is definitely going to be an issue when it comes to SpiderCloud. With growing revenues and an eye on an IPO, the company is unlikely to be cheap.

Larger players have been mostly scooping up femtocell survivors for small change recently. Airvana Inc. was bought by CommScope Inc. for a reported $50 million earlier this month. It had been bought by private investors in 2009 for $530 million. (See CommScope Adds Small Cells to DAS With Airvana Buy.)

The timeframe
There is, however, probably a limited window of time in which an acquisition could happen. SpiderCloud is apparently mulling an IPO in 2016 if it continues with its upward momentum.

Do you have any thoughts on potential buyers for SpiderCloud? Let us know on the message boards below.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

laser_focus 10/8/2016 | 12:28:26 AM
2017 2016 2017 Year of the Small Cell
DanJones 9/28/2015 | 4:40:29 PM
Re: Spiderdead Thanks for chiming in!
Haraldsvik 9/28/2015 | 2:37:07 PM
Re: Spiderdead Sam101

SpiderCloud is doing great.  I left knowing that the company is doing extremely well so that I could take on a new opportunitiy (which is near and dear to my interests for the coming years).

Your profile was created 9/25. It would be interesting for us all to know your company affiliation.


Sam101 9/25/2015 | 5:27:35 PM
Spiderdead Does Spidercloud really sell anything? The few operators who have bought some radio nodes don't really roll out anything to my knowledge and apart from some announcements on their web site last spring, no new customers have been announced. And what about the Cisco partnership? Has it really resulted in any business? Haven't seen anything relevant yet. Cisco has spent money on Altiostar and Ubiquisys with poor results. Spidercloud is a risky investment that I don't think they're willing to take. As for HP, they recently partnered up with Ericsson on the small cell side. That solution includes both picos and "dots" which means they scale much better than Spidercloud both up and down and of course come with better MNO relations due to existing footprint. Huawei also has a good indoor portfolio and NSN/ALU might have something on the way.

Spidercloud had an interesting solution two years ago. Now they are overtaken by the macro vendors and at the same time there are also new kids on the block (like Luminate) who have much more interesting solutions and are far better acquisition targets in my opinion.

I think the train has left the station for Spidercloud. That's likely also why their CMO, Ronny Haraldsvik, left the building in July.
sowen557 9/24/2015 | 12:45:26 PM
Cisco vHetNet Product feedback. What Cisco has put together with their vHetNet product range is amazing! It was launched in Mobile World this year but early feedback from clients has been fantastic.  "click to deploy" really does work.

Cisco vHetNet dramatically simplifies the ordering to production process, enabling mobile operators to operate vHetNet pods that can support scalability to as few as 1000 small cells. The "click to deploy" capability automates the build, verification and configuration of all small cell components, with no user intervention.

Configuration errors that would normally take significant time to debug and resolve are eradicated.  Congrats to Cisco for helping speed up the Small Cell cause.

Operator Joe.
Five_Geez 9/24/2015 | 4:14:12 AM
Hewlett-Packard With the recent purchase of Aruba and the close relationship between Aruba and Luminate Wireless I would think that Luminate and not SpiderCloud would be a much more likely target for HP.
DanJones 9/23/2015 | 2:18:37 PM
CommScope CommScope would've been a possible name in the frame but I don't think they're ready to spend the money required.
Sign In