Rakuten Symphony Is Buying Robin.IO as It Builds Out Telco Cloud Business

The new name in telecommunications is moving fast.

Max Smolaks, Senior Editor

February 28, 2022

2 Min Read
Rakuten group's CEO Hiroshi Mikitani
Rakuten Group CEO and Rakuten Symphony Chairman Mickey Mikitani delivers a speech during a press conference in Tokyo on February 25, 2022.Getty Images

Rakuten Symphony, the Open RAN-focused telecommunications vendor that was spun out of Japanese online commerce giant Rakuten in 2021, is acquiring Silicon Valley-based cloud technology startup Robin.io.

Robin.io develops a variety of hybrid cloud automation tools with a focus on Kubernetes, and counts organizations like USAA (which is also an investor), SAP, and Credit Suisse among its customers.

The company has more than 70 patents to its name, and has seen $84 million in venture capital investment – including $38m in Series C round in July 2021, led by Rakuten Capital.

The price of the acquisition has not been disclosed.

Under the terms of the deal, Robin.io will continue be led by co-founder and CEO Partha Seetala as part of Symphony’s new Unified Cloud business unit.

Containerize all the things

Rakuten Symphony was established last year to bring all of Rakuten’s telecommunications-focused hardware, software, services, and research under a single roof. The brand is focused on the next generation of telecommunications networks, based on cloud computing, open interfaces, and virtualized network functions.

Its initial products include Symware, a Xeon D-powered, fanless, weatherproof, modular RAN box, which is being offered as a service to telecommunications and IT companies – enabling many more organizations to easily build their own 4G or 5G networks.

Related:Equinix Sees 5G as a Chance to ‘Seed’ a New Interconnection Ecosystem

Collaboration between Rakuten and Robin.io began in 2019, when Rakuten Mobile leveraged the cloud-native tools to create one of the world’s first fully virtualized production mobile networks. Now, the same capabilities are offered to Rakuten Mobile’s competitors.

“Robin.io's cloud capability is proven to be effective for the most demanding workloads in mobile and we believe it will allow Rakuten Symphony to safely accelerate cloud-native transformation for our customers and prepare the industry for the future," said Tareq Amin, CEO of Symphony.

“We plan to continue to invest into Robin.io's cloud-native portfolio of products to further advance our capabilities and offer the most advanced and highly integrated cloud platform mobile operators demand."

About the Author(s)

Max Smolaks

Senior Editor, Informa

Max Smolaks is senior editor at Data Center Knowledge, a leading online publication dedicated to the data center industry. A passionate technology journalist, Max has been writing about IT for a decade, covering startups, hardware, and regulation – across B2B titles including Silicon, DatacenterDynamics, The Register, and AI Business.



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