Akamai buys Soha Systems to add more security to its cloud networking business

Consolidation continues to work its way through the world of enterprise startups. Today Akamai announced that it has acquired Soha Systems in an all-cash deal. Soha provides enterprise secure access as a service.

Akamai is not disclosing the value of the deal, saying it was immaterial for the company. The news comes less than a week after Akamai announced that it acquired an IoT-focused startup, Concord Systems, also for an undisclosed sum.

Soha, which is based in Sunnyvale and was founded in 2013, had raised just under $10 million from investors that included Andreessen Horowitz, Cervin Ventures, Menlo Ventures and Moment Ventures.

The company will sit in wider portfolio of services that Akamai offers to secure and optimise enterprise applications in the cloud, specifically its Cloud Networking Solutions. Akamai has made several other acquisitions in this space over the years, including Bloxx in November 2015; and DDoS specialist Prolexic in 2013 for $370 million.

The company has been reportedly interested in stepping up the pace of its security acquisitions to improve its position in that market — a natural complement to its other business optimising and securing web traffic. At the same, time, the company has been periodically rumored as a target for the likes of Microsoft or Google to pick up so it can compete better against Amazon’s AWS.

Building up its security portfolio could serve in both scenarios: it helps Akamai strengthen its own business, and potentially makes it a more attractive acquisition target.

In the case of Soha, Akamai is tapping into an area where businesses are looking for better performance as they move more and more applications of their premises and into the cloud, or data centers, or a hybrid of the two.

“In many ways, the traditional enterprise model is ‘turning inside out’ with applications, employees and data moving to the cloud, well outside of the enterprise’s traditional zone of control. At the same time, security and IT teams remain responsible for ensuring visibility, security and performance,” explained Robert Blumofe, executive vice president, Platform, and general manager, Enterprise and Carrier Division, Akamai, in a statement. “By adding Soha’s secure access technology to our Cloud Networking Solutions, we believe we are well positioned to help our customers take full advantage of the key trends, cloud and mobile, driving enterprise computing.”

It’s not clear how many customers Soha had prior to the deal but the company said that it would continue to work with them and keep its service operating as it has done under its new owner Akamai.

“Enterprise security is undergoing a phase shift and Soha’s secure access service has been designed to address the unique challenges businesses are facing in this era of hybrid data centers and mobile users,” said Haseeb Budhani, co-founder and CEO,Soha Systems. “We look forward to fully integrating our groundbreaking solution as a high-value component of Akamai’s massively scalable, global platform.”