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Airtel Acquires 7% Stake In NaaS Startup Cnergee

Airtel Acquires 7% Stake In NaaS Startup Cnergee

With this acquisition, Airtel will improve its network-as-a-service (NaaS) proposition for small and medium businesses

Airtel will further use Cnergee’s tools to boost its ‘Work From Anywhere’ solutions portfolio as businesses look to adopt hybrid work models in the post-pandemic world

Cnergee offers a slew of 5G ready software tools for NaaS that can be used to enable zero-touch service provisioning, central remote monitoring, and management of all connected devices

Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel has acquired a 7% stake in Mumbai-based cloud networking solutions provider Cnergee Technologies under Airtel Startup Accelerator Program for an undisclosed amount.

With this acquisition, Airtel will improve its network-as-a-service (NaaS) proposition for small and medium businesses (SMBs) who are looking to accelerate their movement to cloud-based applications. 

Airtel will further use Cnergee’s tools to boost its ‘Work-From-Anywhere’ solutions portfolio as businesses look to adopt hybrid work models in the post-pandemic world. 

The latest development comes shortly after Google purchased a 1.28% stake in Airtel for $700 Mn in February 2022. Airtel would receive the investment over the next five years to face the upcoming 5G challenges.

Founded in 2010 by Suvarna Kulkarni, Cnergee integrates networking solutions over the cloud for businesses of all sizes. It has developed a slew of 5G ready software tools for NaaS that can be used to enable zero-touch service provisioning, central remote monitoring, and management of all connected devices with a host of real-time analytics. Its offerings include CMAYA, BiiG, GR8WAYS, Bel-RADIUS, and WiiG.

Founded in 1995 by Sunil Bharti Mittal, Airtel is a communications solutions provider and claims to have over 480 Mn customers in 17 countries across South Asia and Africa. Its retail portfolio includes 4G/4.5G mobile broadband and Airtel Xstream Fiber while its enterprise portfolio includes secure connectivity, cloud and data center services, cyber security, IoT, Ad Tech and cloud-based communication. 

According to a TRAI report, Airtel gained over 700K users in the month of January 2022 while its competitor Reliance Jio lost 9.32 Mn subscribers in the same time frame. Prior to this, Airtel gained 1.2 Mn subscribers in December 2021 while Reliance and Vi witnessed a decline in subscribers with 12 Mn and 2 Mn respectively.

Airtel Startup Accelerator Program mainly invests in early-stage startups engaged in developing solutions based on new-age technologies which also complements Airtel’s digital vision across segments.

In February 2022, Airtel acquired a strategic stake in Singapore-based blockchain startup Aqilliz for an undisclosed amount. With this acquisition, Airtel aimed to deploy Aqilliz’s advanced blockchain technologies at scale across its adtech (Airtel Ads), digital entertainment (Wynk Music and Airtel Xstream) and digital marketplace (Airtel Thanks App) offerings.

In January 2022, Airtel acquired approximately 25% equity stake in Bengaluru-based enterprise network technology startup, Lavelle Networks to boost its NaaS portfolio.

Other startups that the telecom giant’s accelerator program has invested in include software company Nuronics Labs, conversation intelligence software company Enthu.Ai and children-based audio platform Chimes Radio.