Bharti Airtel announced its acquisition of an additional 20.6 percent stake in the software-defined networking start-up Lavelle Networks, in a regulatory filing. This acquisition brings Airtel's total stake in the Bengaluru-based start-up to 45.6 percent. The telecom operator had initially purchased a 25 percent equity stake in Lavelle Networks in January 2022.
Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) Portfolio
Airtel's move aims to enhance its Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) portfolio by incorporating Lavelle Networks' software-defined connectivity solution. Through its Start-up Accelerator Program, Airtel said it aims to support the growth of early-stage Indian tech start-ups and collaborate with them to achieve significant scale in line with its vision.
Lavelle Networks: Optimizing Enterprise Branch Networks
Lavelle Networks, founded in 2015, provides advanced networking software that optimizes, secures, and manages enterprise branch networks. The company's flagship scaleAon SD-WAN platform has successfully connected numerous Indian enterprises, ranging from large financial institutions to e-commerce networks.
Since its product launch in 2016-17, Lavelle Networks has rapidly gained a significant market share within the Indian SD-WAN technology ecosystem, catering to early adopters of this innovative networking solution.
As per Airtel's regulatory filing, Lavelle Networks reported a turnover of Rs 14.08 crore in FY2021-22, compared to Rs 10.64 crore in the previous fiscal year.
The financial details of the stake acquisition were not disclosed in the regulatory filing. However, Airtel mentioned that the transaction would occur in multiple tranches, subject to the fulfilment of conditions precedent.
By increasing its stake in Lavelle Networks, Bharti Airtel aims to bolster its NaaS offerings and further strengthen its position. The integration of Lavelle Networks' software-defined connectivity solution into Airtel's portfolio will enable the telecom operator to deliver advanced networking capabilities to its business customers.
In June, Bharti Airtel made an announcement about acquiring a 12.07 percent stake in Egan Solar Power Private Limited, which is a captive power plant operator. The acquisition was intended to comply with electricity regulations and to strengthen Bharti Airtel's renewable energy capabilities.