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SA startup Cape Networks to be acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Cape Networks, a software as a service and hardware startup based in Cape Town and San Francisco, is set to be acquired by IT giant Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) for a yet-to-be-disclosed price.

In a statement late yesterday (27 March), HPE announced it had a definitive agreement to acquire Cape Networks, which uses Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to monitor and optimise Wi-Fi networks.

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The acquisition will see Cape Networks merge with Aruba, an HPE subsidiary which specialises in data networking solutions.

The acquisition, set to conclude in the next couple of weeks, will see Cape Networks join HPE subsidiary Aruba

Cape Networks co-founder David Wilson (pictured above, second from left) said in an email to Ventureburn today that he expected the deal to be concluded shortly — between the end of this month or early next month (April).

Wilson however declined to reveal the value of the acquisition or the revenue that the company generated last year. He also did not want to say how long the company had been in talks with HPE.

“Unfortunately I can’t comment on most of those questions at the moment—deal information has not been made public,” he said.

Cape Networks was founded in 2013 by Wilson under the name Asimmetric. He was later joined by Ross Douglas, Fouad Zreik, and Michael Champanis the following year. In 2016 the company underwent a name change to Cape.

Cape Networks’ previous investors include Silicon Valley venture capital firms Highway1, Autonomous Ventures, Haystack, Bolt and Root Ventures. Last year the startup was crowned the best Wi-Fi Startup of 2017 at Wi-Fi Now Europe in the Hague.

Commenting on the acquisition he said: “Aruba’s leadership and global reach make this a fantastic deal for our customers, partners and team. Aruba and HPE will invest in growing the team based in Cape Town”.

“We’re planning on hiring a significant number of software engineers that want the best of both worlds, the energy of a startup and the resources of a Silicon Valley giant,” he added.

Following the deal, he said, Cape Network’s solutions will help to expand Aruba’s artificial intelligence powered network capabilities.

“Cape’s product directly complements the industry-leading Aruba NetInsight solution and will help extend Aruba’s leadership and contribute to Aruba’s continued growth,” he said.

He said the four founders would be staying on when the acquisition is concluded.

Aruba CTO Partha Narasimhan, said in a statement that Cape Networks will help strengthen and differentiate Aruba’s Mobile First Architecture.

“With Cape Networks, IT can easily deploy and use a network of sensors to proactively optimize and remotely troubleshoot end user experiences for on-premises and cloud applications such as SAP,, Microsoft Office and Wi-Fi captive portals,” Narasimhan said.

Read more: 10 South African startups leading innovation in IoT [Digital All Stars]

Featured image: Cape Networks founding team (Supplied)

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