What IBM’s Deal For HashiCorp Means For The Cloud Infra Battle

Roger Stringer Roger Stringer
April 26, 2024
3 min read

R. Scott Raynovich, writing for Forbes:

In a move that has broad implications for the cloud infrastructure technology market, IBM announced on its earnings call on April 24th that it is buying cloud technology firm HashiCorp for $35 a share, or $6.4 billion.

The move puts to rest HashiCorp’s tumultuous tenure in the public markets and firms up IBM’s leadership position as one of the leading providers of cloud management tools. IBM already owns Red Hat, which it purchased for $34 billion in 2019.

But at the same time, the deal also highlights IBM’s challenges to transform itself in a fast-moving industry. Even with the success of Red Hat, whose products are widely deployed and used among cloud engineers, the company had difficulty moving the needle. This was clearly demonstrated on IBM’s earnings call last night, when the company reported revenue grew only 1.5% year-over-year. Its shares fell 9% on a combination of the earnings report and the HashiCorp news.


The deal puts an end to HashiCorp’s wild ride in the public markets, which may have made investors nauseous. Once a red-hot Silicon Valley startup, the company rocketed out of the gates after its 2021 initial public offering (IPO), hitting a high of near $100 just a month after its IPO. IBM’s purchase price of $35 represents a loss of 65% from those levels more than two years later.

In the past year, HashiCorp has also been plagued by controversy. In August of 2021, the company made a big change in its commercialization strategy, switching from open-source licenses to Business Source License (BSL) licensing. This fueled attacks from the open-source community. In December of 2023, founder Mitchell Hashimoto left the company. Hashimoto and current CEO McJannet were said to clash over business strategy.

Do you like my content?

Sponsor Me On Github