Airgain acquires NimbeLink for $15m

  • January 13, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Californian antenna company Airgain has acquired privately held NimbeLink, a specialist in cellular industrial IoT services, for $15m.

The addition of NimbeLink’s embedded modem and asset tracking products is believed to be key to Airgain’s strategy to expand its penetration of the multi-billion-dollar industrial IoT and M2M markets.

Headquartered in Minnesota, NimbeLink provides edge-based cellular connectivity industrial IoT products. Its certified Skywire cellular modems help OEMs reduce their cellular development time.

The company develops and markets complete edge-to-enterprise asset tracking products that are configured to use cases and applications such as location tracking, inventory management and resource optimisation.

Established in 2013, NimbeLink has sold more than 400,000 units over the past two years and its patented products have been deployed for thousands of end users through multiple partner relationships.

Based on preliminary, unaudited results, NimbeLink expects to report $12.5m in revenue and $0.1m in adjusted EBITDA for the fiscal year ended December 2020.

Through the combined offering, Airgain plans to accelerate wireless product development to expand its footprint while creating revenue opportunities. NimbeLink’s expertise in cellular modem integration, carrier certification and cloud management software is expected to enable the rapid realisation of the company’s global vision for the AirgainConnect antenna-modem platform.

“We are proud to welcome NimbeLink to the Airgain team and look forward to strengthening our enterprise offering with proven edge-based cellular connectivity for industrial IoT and M2M applications,” said Jacob Suen, Airgain’s CEO. “NimbeLink is an excellent fit with our business and will play an important role in our overall growth strategy to broaden market diversification and extend the development of the AirgainConnect antenna-modem platform. The sum of the parts is truly greater than the individual pieces and, together, we believe the combined company significantly advances our strategic mission to deliver higher levels of integrated wireless systems globally.”

Airgain’s global presence will provide the means to extend NimbeLink’s salesforce reach internationally and is expected to bring larger design win opportunities. In addition, NimbeLink’s asset tracking and embedded cellular modem products are expected to leverage Airgain’s antenna design and integration expertise to improve wireless performance.

“We are very excited about what the combined strength of Airgain and NimbeLink will bring to our cellular connectivity and asset tracking customers,” said Scott Schwalbe, NimbeLink’s CEO. “Airgain’s high-performance antenna technology complements NimbeLink’s portfolio of cellular technology and will provide our customers with the benefit of enhanced product performance and a broader reach into global markets. Together, we will build upon our core competencies and advance forward-thinking industrial IoT development and design at the network edge.”

Airgain has acquired all the outstanding capital stock of NimbeLink for an upfront cash purchase price of approximately $15m, subject to working capital and other customary adjustments, and NimbeLink’s former equity holders have the potential to earn up to an additional $8m in cash based on achievement of certain revenue targets for fiscal year 2021. The transaction was financed by Airgain’s existing cash.

The acquisition was signed and simultaneously closed on January 7, 2021. On a pro forma basis, taking into effect the NimbeLink acquisition, as of January 7, 2021, Airgain expects to have approximately $23m of cash and cash equivalents and no debt.

NimbeLink management expects to report unaudited revenue of $12.5m for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020. The acquisition of NimbeLink is expected to be accretive to Airgain’s non-GAAP earnings per share immediately in Q1 2021 and is expected to enhance Airgain’s long-term revenue growth potential.

Airgain provides antenna technologies used to enable high-performance wireless networking across a broad range of devices and markets, including consumer, enterprise and automotive. Combining design-led thinking with testing and development, Airgain works in partnership with carriers, chipset suppliers, OEMs and ODMs. The firm’s antennas are deployed in carrier, fleet, enterprise, residential, private, government and public safety wireless networks and systems, including set-top boxes, access points, routers, modems, gateways, media adapters, portables, digital televisions, sensors, and fleet and asset tracking devices.

Airgain is headquartered in San Diego, California, and has design and test centres in the USA, UK and China.