Microsoft said today that it will acquire Affirmed Networks, a Boston-area startup that sells virtualized network software to mobile operators.
“This acquisition will allow us to evolve our work with the telecommunications industry, building on our secure and trusted cloud platform for operators,” Microsoft Azure executive Yousef Khalidi said in a blog post. “With Affirmed Networks, we will be able to offer new and innovative solutions tailored to the unique needs of operators, including managing their network workloads in the cloud.”
Founded in 2010, Affirmed Networks’ technology is deployed in more than 85 networks worldwide. Customers include AT&T, SoftBank, Vodafone, and more that use its services to deploy and scale their mobile services.
“We have been their partner of choice as they prepare for fifth generation (5G) networks and infrastructure,” Affirmed Networks CEO Anand Krishnamurthy said in a blog post. “Now, the combined technologies of Microsoft and Affirmed will further accelerate this momentous shift.”
The startup employs more than 500 people and had raised more than $150 million, including a $38 million round in February 2019.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition builds on Microsoft’s existing cloud-related work to help telecom companies with their 5G deployments. Microsoft inked a 5G partnership with AT&T last year.
“Bringing this technology and team of experts into Microsoft allows us to extend our cloud offering to operators everywhere as they increasingly look to run their networks in a hybrid environment,” Khalidi wrote. “We’re excited about our future together where carriers will be able to better leverage Microsoft’s cloud to improve overall profitability and create new revenue streams.”
Update, March 27: Bloomberg reported that the acquisition valued Affirmed Networks at $1.35 billion.