Airtel acquires ~25% strategic stake in SD-WAN startup Lavelle Networks

Via Bharti Airtel

Jan 31, 2022

New Delhi: Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), India’s premier communications solutions provider, today announced an agreement to acquire appx. 25% equity stake in Bengaluru based technology startup, Lavelle Networks. The agreement is subject to applicable statutory approvals.

The home grown Lavelle Networks specialises in Software-defined Wide Area Network solutions and it serves a range of industry segments. Its platform has connected several thousands of Indian enterprises from the nation's largest financial institutions to e-commerce networks.

As more enterprise move to cloud based applications to serve their customers in a digital-first eco system, they require on-demand and reliable network connectivity. As a result, there is a surge in demand for software defined solutions that have the agility to serve a cloud based hybrid IT environment.

"SD-WAN is the necessary arsenal for enterprises to transform and future-proof their network infrastructure in this digital age. Its market in India is expected to grow exponentially at a CAGR of 55% in 2022-2026. As per F&S 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

Airtel Business’ Network as a service (NaaS) is a digital platform, which is built to address the emerging connectivity requirements of enterprises as they go through the cloud & digital adoption and acceleration journey. As part of its NaaS portfolio, Airtel will offer software defined connectivity solution from Lavelle Networks and co-create a host of innovations as part of its NaaS platform. This also aims to bring “Made in India” products & solutions for enterprises by offering cutting edge technology and cost efficiencies.

Ajay Chitkara, Director and CEO – Airtel Business said: “We are pleased to support Lavelle’s growth journey and excited to collaborate with them to take their world-class solutions to enterprise customers in the fast growing Indian NaaS market. With our end-to-end solutions play and brand trust, we are uniquely positioned to serve the needs of India’s fast growing digital economy.”

Shyamal Kumar, co-founder & CEO, Lavelle Networks said: "Digital India's businesses are racing away to applications, cloud and software. Connecting all of this together are our enterprise data networks. We are extremely excited that our product and early market success will now be massively accelerated by this transformational partnership with Airtel."

Airtel Business serves over one million businesses through its integrated portfolio of – connectivity, conferencing, cloud & data centers, cyber security, IoT, Ad-tech, CPaaS (Airtel IQ), and more. It is the market leader in India’s enterprise connectivity segment.

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