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Ruckus Wireless: IPO or Cisco Acquisition?

Posted on Thursday, Jul 12th 2012

According to Visiongain’s report, The Wireless Infrastructure Market 2012-2017: Wi-Fi, WiMax, 3G, HSPA+ and LTE,  the global wireless infrastructure market is projected to be worth $43 billion. The wireless market includes core network products for next generation network architectures and wireless transport network technologies for backhaul. Over the next five years, the researcher expects the market to grow in the single digits as operators ramp up capacity in areas like backhaul, aggregation, transport, routing based on Internet protocol (IP), and Ethernet technologies for mobile broadband services.

Ruckus Wireless’s Financials
Sunnyvale, California–based Ruckus Wireless was founded in 2004 by William Kish and Victor Shtrom. The company is a pioneer in the wireless infrastructure market that focuses on building the next generation of smart wireless LAN systems. Ruckus Wireless is known for developing the first smart Wi-Fi products and technology that extend the range of Wi-Fi signals and adapt to environmental changes. Its Smart Wi-Fi platform leverages high-gain adaptive antenna technology and best-path-selection algorithms to form and direct Wi-Fi signals over the highest performance paths to clients.

According to a Dell’Oro report, Ruckus controls nearly 27% of service provider Wi-Fi mesh node shipments. Since inception, it has shipped more than 500,000 smart Wi-Fi systems worldwide.

Ruckus claims to earn nearly 60% of its revenues from telecommunications carriers, including Hong Kong–based PCCW Ltd. and Deutsche Telekom AG. The remaining revenues come from corporate customers such as Marriott International, which use its products to supply Wi-Fi services to hotel guests and employees. Revenues are estimated to have grown 50% last year to more than $120 million. The company’s financials have not been disclosed, but it claims to be a profitable venture. It has a presence in 22 countries and caters to 120,000 customers and more than 5,150 registered channel partners.

To date, it has received nearly $72.7 million in funding from Sequoia Capital, Focus Ventures, Investor AB, Firelake Capital Management, Telus, Meritech Capital, SingTel Innov8, Sutter Hill, T-Ventures, WK Technology Fund, and Motorola Ventures.

Ruckus is now said to be eying the IPO market. According to news reports, it is working with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to help with and IPO round expected before the end of the year.

Ruckus’s Expanding Product Offerings
Industry experts believe that Ruckus has a strong product offering. And the company continues to build on this.  Recently it launched the industry’s highest capacity three-stream and the industry’s most affordable dual-stream 802.11n Smart Wi-Fi access points for carriers and enterprises. The two products will be able to cater to both the high and low ends of the Wi-Fi market. These offerings provide increased signal gain, mitigate RF interference, and allow each ZoneFlex AP to adapt to the changing nature of Wi-Fi signals from each connected mobile device. They come with advanced features, including bandsteering, airtime fairness, and predictive, capacity-drive channel selection (ChannelFly) to help their users get best channel selection and least interference.

According to a Gartner report, Ruckus Wireless was the fastest-growing Wi-Fi supplier globally for enterprise wireless LANs. During the last quarter of 2011, Ruckus achieved the highest annual revenue growth of all wireless LAN suppliers at 134% over the year. It now commands 4.9% of the wireless LAN supplier market worldwide. Ruckus has shown significant promise to date. Also, compared with some of the other smaller technology players evaluating an IPO, it does have a reasonably high revenue and a stable business model.

However, it is quite possible that Cisco or HP could acquire the company before it hits the public market.

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With Cisco’s recent acquisition of NDS will they still try to acquire a company like ruckus? I really doubt that.

If at all it will be HP!

There are other small Enterprise Wi-Fi players like Meru Networks, Firetide fall under the suitable acquisitions list and one need to watchout for .

pradeep Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 10:27 AM PT