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Airtel to buy 25% stake VC-backed enterprise networking co Lavelle Networks

Airtel to buy 25% stake VC-backed enterprise networking co Lavelle Networks
Credit: Reutres

Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s second-largest telecom company in terms of market share, has entered into an agreement to buy a near 25% stake in Bengaluru-based technology startup, Lavelle Networks Pvt Ltd, the company said in a statement on Monday.

Lavelle Networks is backed by early-stage venture capital firms YourNest Venture Capital and Ideaspring Capital.

The acquisition will help Airtel to address the emerging connectivity requirements of enterprises as companies start digitising and adopting cloud to accelerate operations, Airtel said.  

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Airtel further said that it is witnessing a surge in demand for software defined solutions that serve a cloud-based hybrid information technology (IT) environment as more companies move to cloud-based applications to serve their customers in a digital-first eco system, which demands a reliable network connectivity.

Lavelle Networks, which specializes in software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) solutions, will thus enable Airtel to provide better connectivity to large companies. 

Founded in 2015, Lavelle offers an SDN platform for WAN management. WAN is a telecommunications or computer network that extends over a large geographical distance. The company offers SDN gateways and user interface to deploy, manage and monitor hybrid WAN networks. The solutions cater to retail, banking, e-commerce, logistics and other industries.

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Lavelle Networks currently serves a range of industry segments and said that its platform has connected several thousands of Indian enterprises from the nation's largest financial institutions to e-commerce networks. 

"SD-WAN market in India is expected to grow exponentially at a CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of 55% in 2022-2026. As per Frost & Sullivan End-User Survey 2021, about 62% of enterprises plan to deploy SD-WAN across their organization in the next 1-2 years. Some of the major drivers which would contribute to this phenomenal run include the need for seamless management of Hybrid Networks, faster deployment of new sites, and network cost-efficiency," Apalak Ghosh, Associate Director and Head of ICT, Frost & Sullivan South Asia.   

As part of Airtel Business’ Network as a service (NaaS) portfolio, Airtel will offer software defined connectivity solution from Lavelle Networks and co-create a host of innovations, Airtel said.  

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Airtel Business claims to serve over one million businesses through its integrated portfolio of – connectivity, conferencing, cloud and data centers, cyber security, IoT (internet of things), Adtech (advertisement technology), CPaaS (communications platform as a service) or Airtel IQ, and more. Airtel claims to be the market leader in India’s enterprise connectivity segment.   

"Digital India's businesses are racing away to applications, cloud and software. Connecting all of this together are our enterprise data networks,” said Shyamal Kumar, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Lavelle Networks. 

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