Ekinops Acquires SixSq to Strengthen Edge Computing Offering

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EKINOPS, a supplier of telecommunications solutions for telecom operators and enterprises, has acquired the start-up SixSq, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider for Edge Computing.

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, SixSq has developed an ultra-innovative solution allowing businesses to take full advantage of the added value of Edge Computing. Complementing Cloud computing, the SixSq solution enables smart data processing directly on the company’s site.

The SixSq range comprises the Nuvla.io marketplace, which hosts all types of business applications in container format, and the NuvlaBox software, which converts enterprise routers or other open hardware platforms capable of processing data, into smart edge systems.

The Nuvla.io marketplace makes available to all NuvlaBoxes deployed in the field inside enterprises, all the applications it hosts in the Cloud, similar to the App Store or Play Store for consumers. This way, SixSq makes it possible for all software vendors to reach the enterprise market and sell their innovative software applications.

With this acquisition, Ekinops is stepping up its strategy to provide greater added value to its customers. “After enriching OneOS6 middleware with SD-WAN and SBC solutions, it is now possible to extend it to all types of applications through the integration of NuvlaBox into OneOS6 and access to the Nuvla.io marketplace. The possibilities are infinite!” said Didier Brédy, CEO of Ekinops. “We are looking forward to presenting this opportunity to our telecom operator customers. It is a new way for them to monetize their presence at enterprise branch sites through our OneOS6 routers.”

“Our solution, already productized, offers a unique value proposition to various verticals such as industry, mass retail and telecoms. For us, joining Ekinops is an enormous accelerator,” said Marc-Elian Bégin, co-founder and CEO of SixSq. “Thanks to Ekinops’ support, we now have the firepower to rapidly move into the B2B market focusing on large accounts and telecom operators. We have already identified opportunities. The market has been waiting for this type of solution, so the timing is perfect.”

The alliance is a major step forward in Ekinops upscale and software business development strategy.

Ekinops and SixSq solutions are already integrated through the Ekinops virtualization offering (OneOS6-LIM). Next, the goal is to integrate NuvlaBox software directly into OneOS6 middleware. All OneOS6 routers will be able to run “container” business applications, downloaded via the Nuvla.io marketplace. Combined with its new 5G routers, Ekinops will make artificial intelligence available to all companies and use cases, particularly for the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 and smart retail.

SixSq is expected to contribute €1m to €2m to revenue in 2022 from its software business. The company is targeting triple-digit growth in the coming years.

In three years’ time, Ekinops aims to generate at least 20% to 30% of its revenue through software and services (vs. 12% in H1 2021).

The transaction consists of the acquisition by Ekinops of 100% of the capital of SixSq SA, which will be consolidated by the Group from November 1, 2021.

This transaction also includes financing from Ekinops to SixSq, which will allow the company to significantly increase its sales operation and R&D activities at its Geneva headquarters.

With the advent of our “all digital” society, the amount of data generated by individuals, employees, machines and everyday devices is experiencing exponential growth. These extensive data sets also need to be processed in near real time.

Cloud computing, long used to store and process data, is no longer able to address all our needs. We need to process video in real time, take immediate decisions and process data with a lot less latency. And these requirements apply to numerous fields, including healthcare, smart cities and retail.

Supplementing the capacities of the Cloud, Edge Computing provides users with computing power as close as possible to data sources. This is true for points of presence of telecom operators closest to users (known as “near Edge Computing”) and user sites (“Far Edge Computing”, enabled by SixSq’s technology).

Edge Computing has a host of advantages, including:

Decision-making proximity: data processing latency is substantially reduced as round trips from and to the Cloud are no longer necessary.

Reduced carbon footprint: storing all the raw data of a company in the Cloud weighs heavily on its carbon footprint. Processing data locally reduces the volume of data stored in the Cloud by
a factor of 10 to 100.

Security and confidentiality: for sensitive data, Edge Computing helps to safeguard confidentiality by keeping the data on site and rendering the data anonymous.

Economies of scale: while uploading data to the Cloud is not expensive, storing, processing and recovering the data is – even though 90% of raw data are not worth that cost. With Edge Computing, businesses can significantly reduce their Cloud computing bills.