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Supercharging Connectivity: Airtel Increases Stake In Startup Lavelle

Bharti Airtel increases stake in software-defined networking startup, Lavelle Networks. Airtel expands partnership, offering Lavelle's connectivity solution as part of Airtel Business' NaaS portfolio. Read on to explore details.

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Swati Dayal
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Lavelle Networks

The second largest telecom operator in the country, Bharti Airtel, has increased its stake in the software-defined networking startup. Bharti Airtel has acquired an additional 20.6% stake in Lavelle Networks for a total of 45.6% stake. The information was given by the telecom operator said in a regulatory filing.

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Airtel Acquires Additional 20.6% Stake in Lavelle Networks

“In furtherance to the earlier communication dated January 31, 2022 and in terms of terms of Regulation 30 of the SEBI Listing Regulations, we wish to inform you that the Company has entered into an agreement resulting in acquisition of aggregate 45.6% stake in Lavelle Networks Private Limited, in which the Company currently holds 25% stake," the company said in its stock filing.

“Agreement has been entered for acquisition of additional 20.6% stake on the basis of price determined by the valuation report. The said valuation has not been disclosed due to the reasons of confidentiality,” Airtel said keeping the financial details of the deal undisclosed.

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“Airtel, through its Startup Accelerator Program, aims to support growth of early-stage Indian tech startups and partner with them in building significant scale to achieve its vision,” the telco said.

Airtel Expands Partnership through Equity Acquisition

In January 2022, Sunil Mittal led telco Airtel had signed an agreement to acquire a 25% equity stake in the Bengaluru-based software defined-wide area network (SD-WAN) startup. 

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Other than this, ASM technologies, a global technology engineering and product development services provider, had also done a follow-on investment in Lavelle Networks.

Lavelle Networks' SD-WAN Platform Connects Indian Enterprises with Airtel's NaaS Portfolio

Airtel said it will offer the startup’s software-defined connectivity solution as part of Airtel Business’ Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) portfolio.

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Airtel said that Lavelle’s scaleAon SD-WAN platform has connected several thousands of Indian enterprises from the nation’s largest financial institutions to e-commerce networks.

Lavelle Networks was founded in 2015, and is a network software startup working in the field of cloud powered technology. The company provides solution for the optimisation, security and management of enterprise branch networks.

Lavelle launched its product line in 2016-17 and accelerated to a significant market share within the last three years in the early adopters of SD-WAN technology in India, it added.

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As of FY2021-22, Lavelle’s turnover stood at Rs 14.08 crore compared to Rs 10.64 crore in FY2020-21, as per Airtel’s filing.

 Empowering Startups with Airtel's Ecosystem and Advisory Services

Airtel Startup Accelerator Program allows startups to leverage Airtel’s robust ecosystem, including its core strengths in data, distribution, networks and payments. This includes access to a vast online and offline distribution network that touches 300m+ customers, deep market understanding and platform of global strategic partners. Further, start-ups also get access to advisory services from Airtel’s executive team. In the past, companies like Vahan, Spectacom, Lattu Kids and Voicezen have joined the program.

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