Cloud start-up raises $278m

A cloud start-up founded by ex-Cisco engineers raises $278 million to fund products that help the data centres of customers such as investment banks function more like those of cloud computing providers.
Read time 6min 20sec

The sad news of the death of Mark Hurd was the main story of the international ICT market last week.

At home, activities at 4Sight Holdings and EOH were still centre stage.

Key local news

  • Satisfactory interim numbers from Datatec, with revenue up 2.6% and profit up 104.5%.
  • Mixed year-end figures from Adapt IT, with revenue up 7.9% but profit down 37.4%.
  • A full-year loss from EOH, with revenue down 2.6%.
  • Terra Analytics acquired EOH Mthombo’s Data World Group, ie, Data World, Xcallibre and Evaluations Enhanced Property Appraisals, which operates mainly in the public sector, in a deal worth R101.8 million.
  • Foresight Holdings, an intermediate holding company within the 4Sight Group, filed for business rescue.
  • The Lebashe Investment Group decided against a third round of investment in troubled IT services firm EOH.
  • EOH blacklisted and suspended payments to 50 enterprise development partners it says were involved in shady dealings.
  • Ingram Micro will close its SA operation.
  • Rwanda-based Mara Group has opened its SA smartphone factory in Durban to serve Africa and beyond.
  • Vast Networks will be going into liquidation.
  • A renewed JSE cautionary by Blue Label Telecom.
  • A withdrawn JSE cautionary by EOH.

Key African news

  • The appointment of Djibril Ouattara as CEO of MTN Ivory Coast.

Key international news

  • Accenture acquired UK-based Happen, a privately owned innovation firm that uses proprietary methods, frameworks and digital tools to help clients generate new ideas, products and services that drive business growth.
  • Appier, a Taiwanese artificial intelligence firm backed by SoftBank Group, bought Japanese AI solutions provider Emotion Intelligence.
  • Atlassian purchased Code Barrel, which makes automation add-ons for its flagship team ticket tracking product Jira.
  • AT&T’s advertising unit Xandr acquired Clypd to expand into the television ad realm.

The semiconductor industry is undergoing a brutal downturn in 2019, a drop so powerful it can only be ended by an even more formidable force.

  • Boston Consulting Group bought AllofUs, a UK-based design consultancy.
  • Cerner purchased AbleVets, a strategic IT consulting and engineering firm.
  • Cognex acquired SUALAB, a leading Korean-based developer of vision software using deep learning for industrial applications.
  • Cognizant bought Contino, a privately held technology consulting firm that specialises in helping Global 2000 clients accelerate their digital transformation by leveraging enterprise DevOps methodologies, a cloud-native development approach and advanced data platforms.
  • Genpact purchased Rightpoint, a premier digital consultancy with technology at its core.
  • Globalfoundries acquired the PDK engineering team from Smartcom Bulgaria.
  • Intel bought Pivot Technology Solutions’ Smart Edge, a software business designed to help split up data and store it closer to users to make computing devices respond faster. The deal was worth $27 million.
  • KKR, a leading global investment firm, purchased a majority stake in Hyperoptic, the UK’s largest residential gigabit broadband provider.
  • Sabre  acquired Radixx, a leading airline retailing software provider with an established presence in the low-cost carrier space, for $110 million.
  • SailPoint Technologies bought Orkus and OverWatchID, which will help the former deliver on its mission to help organisations govern access to all applications, including the rapidly emerging cloud infrastructures on which their digital business are built.
  • Signify purchased Eaton’s Cooper lighting business for $1.4 billion.
  • Bharti Airtel bought a stake in solar power firm AMPSolar Evolution.
  • KKR, a leading global investment firm, invested a majority stake in Hyperoptic, the UK’s largest residential gigabit broadband provider.
  • Ahead and Data Blue, two solution providers owned by Court Square Capital Partners, announced their merger. Court Square Capital Partners is now acquiring Sovereign Systems, another solution provider.
  • Corning filed a patent infringement lawsuit in Taiwan against AvanStrate Taiwan, a manufacturer of LCD glass substrates.
  • The European Commission announced that Broadcom, supplier of chipsets used for TV set-top boxes and modems, is engaging in anti-competitive practices and has ordered it to halt the practices.
  • A cloud start-up founded by a group of four ex-Cisco Systems engineers has raised $278 million to fund products that aim to help the data centres of customers such as investment banks function more like those of cloud computing providers.
  • Larsen & Toubro (L&T) will buy out its partner, Old Lane, in L&T Infrastructure Development Projects, to convert it into a fully owned subsidiary.
  • Very good quarterly figures from Atlassian (back in the black) and Netflix.
  • Good quarterly numbers from Huawei, TSMC and WNS Holdings.
  • Good year-end numbers from dotdigital Group.
  • Satisfactory quarterly results from Crown Castle International, Reliance Jio, Snap-On and Wipro.
  • Mediocre quarterly results from IBM and Omnicom Group.
  • Mixed quarterly figures from ASML NV and L&T Infotech, with revenue up but net income down.
  • Quarterly losses from CLPS, Ericsson and Limelight Networks.
  • A half-year loss from 1Spatial.
  • The appointment of Donald Layden Jr as interim CEO of USA Technologies.
  • The resignation of Stephen Herbert, CEO of USA Technologies.
  • The death of Mark Hurd, co-CEO of Oracle.
  • An IPO filing for the NYSE from Youdao, the education unit of Chinese video game maker NetEase.
  • A satisfactory IPO on the London Stock Exchange by Helios Towers, the African-based infrastructure company.

Research results and predictions


  • Outdoor surveillance cameras will be the largest market for 5G Internet of things (IOT) solutions worldwide over the next three years. These cameras will represent 70% of the 5G IOT endpoint installed base in 2020, before contracting to 32% by the end of 2023.
  • Worldwide spending on security products and services will enjoy solid growth over the next five years, as organisations continue to invest in solutions to meet a wide range of security threats and requirements, according to IDC. Worldwide spending on security-related hardware, software and services is expected to be $106.6 billion in 2019, an increase of 10.7% over 2018. This amount will reach $151.2 billion in 2023, with a CAGR of 9.4% over the 2019-2023 forecast period.
  • The semiconductor industry is undergoing a brutal downturn in 2019, a drop so powerful it can only be ended by an even more formidable force: the massive economic impact exerted by the deployment of 5G technology, according to IHS Markit. Following a 12.8% plunge in 2019, global semiconductor market revenue will rebound to 5.9% growth in 2020, an 18% upswing. Global revenue will rise to $448 billion next year, up from $422.8 billion in 2019.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Up 0.3%
  • FTSE100: Down 1.3%
  • DAX: Up 1%
  • NYSE (Dow): Down 0.2%
  • S&P 500: Up 0.5%
  • Nasdaq: No change (marginally up)
  • Nikkei225: Up 3.2%
  • Hang Seng: Up 1.6%
  • Shanghai: Down 1.2%

Look out for


  • Open Text making a takeover bid for rival software firm Micro Focus International.
  • Private equity firm Apollo Global Management acquiring Tech Data for close to $5 billion.

South Africa:

  • Further developments regarding the issues at 4Sight Holdings.

Final word

Forbes has published its 2019 Digital 100 List, a ranking of the world’s top digital companies. Included in the top 50 are:

  • 1: Apple
  • 2: Microsoft
  • 3: Samsung Electronics
  • 4: Alphabet
  • 5: AT&T
  • 6: Amazon
  • 7: Verizon Communications
  • 8: China Mobile
  • 10: Facebook
  • 11: Alibaba
  • 12: Intel
  • 13: Softbank
  • 14: IBM
  • 15: Tencent Holdings
  • 16: NTT
  • 17: Cisco
  • 18: Oracle
  • 19: Deutsche Telekom
  • 20: Taiwan Semiconductor
  • 21: KDDI
  • 22: SAP
  • 23: Telefonica
  • 24: America Movil
  • 25: Hon Hai Precision
  • 26: Dell Technologies
  • 27: Orange
  • 28: China Telecom
  • 29: SK Hynix
  • 30: Accenture
  • 31: Broadcom
  • 32: Micron Technology
  • 33: Qualcomm
  • 34: PayPal
  • 35: China Unicom
  • 36: HP
  • 37: BCE
  • 38: Tata Consultancy Services
  • 39: ADP
  • 40: BT Group
  • 42: Canon
  • 44: Saudi Telecom
  • 45:
  • 46: TI
  • 47: Netflix
  • 48: Philips
  • 49: Etisalat
  • 50: Baidu
Login with