Shout Out to Jasper Wireless (and Cisco)

Blog - Shout Out to Jasper Wireless

It was hard to resist the urge to blog the day the Jasper-Cisco deal was announced. I sat back and watched as the pundits waxed on about why the deal happened, what this brings to Cisco and why Jasper sold the company rather than going public. I’ve known the company and the people there for a long time and had the pleasure of a couple beers in Barcelona with two of the earliest employees at Jasper that I call friends.Cisco-Jasper.jpg

A couple of observations now that the dust is settling, even though the companies aren’t integrated yet:

1.) First, way to go Jahangir and team. $1.4B for an IoT software company. Thank you for being a legitimate, growing, revenue generating, monumental, yet rational exit in IoT. Most don’t realize the pivot the company made in 2009ish that had them embrace the Operator as the customer and become the de facto platform for cellular data and connectivity management.

2.) I am amazed how few writers and even analysts really know what Jasper does. What makes their story so compelling is that they did essentially one thing, one relatively narrow swath of the IoT value chain. But they did it so well, with such focus and success that they dominated a market that is not without big competitors, i.e. Ericsson and DIY.

3.) I want to call out one research group (but not by name), one IoT-focused research group for throwing a little cold water on the acquisition versus the decision to go public. They claimed that Jasper’s growth had slowed and they wouldn’t have had a successful IPO. Huh? First of all, who would take a company public in this market now? Second, do you realize how much more money they got for selling now rather than wait for the future valuation that an IPO would have brought. My guess, and only a guess, is that Jasper’s revenue was tracking in the $80M - $100M range. At the high end, they got a 14x multiple. How is that worst than an IPO?

4.) They’ve only just begun. Jasper’s IoT footprint is thousands of customers worldwide. Nobody in the software world has anything close to that, nobody. If Cisco+Jasper continue to evolve the software strategy, they, meaning Cisco, actually has a shot at becoming the dominant IoT “software” provider. Let me repeat that for emphasis – Cisco has the potential to become the world’s dominant software provider in the IoT market. They will prove to the skeptics that this is a multi-billion dollar software and services market. Hell yeah!

5.) Lastly, one more shout-out to the class of individuals that started that company and led its early progress. During my beer chat with two Jasper friends, I asked if there was anyone they really wanted to poke after the deal was announced. I know lots of people criticized Jasper saying the operators were going to pull subscription management in-house and that they weren’t growing fast enough. These two guys paused for a second and decided, nah, they weren’t going to gloat over anyone. This was and is a classy group of hardworking entrepreneurs who get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Now, who will be next?


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