investment lead

Cisco Investments, the venture capital arm of Cisco, has announced an additional allocation of US$40 million to fund early-stage firms in India under the ‘India Innovation theme’.

The new funding allocation builds on Cisco Investments’ momentum in India and is focussed on product and technologies that are relevant to India and other emerging markets, including cost-optimised designs, industry vertical solutions and application of cloud.

As part of the India Innovation theme, Cisco also announced its first investment in Covacsis – a Mumbai-based real-time analytics platform software provider catering to manufacturing production floors.

Over the years, Cisco has been an active equity investor in the country, and has made significant investments in growth-stage companies such as Netmagic, Apalya and social innovation funds like Aavishkaar.

Joydeep Bose, Managing Director, Corporate Development, Cisco Asia Pacific and Japan, said, “India is committed to rapidly building out its communications infrastructure, which presents a unique opportunity for local entrepreneurs to develop new technologies and applications. As a leading strategic investor, Cisco Investments is committed to support the building of entrepreneurial capacity and nurture the local early-stage startup ecosystem in India. By spurring and accelerating technology innovation, we want to help India evolve as a global hub for innovation and help Cisco become a defining player in taking technology investment in the region to the next level.”

Cisco Investments’ existing portfolio is over US$2 billion worldwide and the US$40 million early-stage allocation under the India Innovation theme is a part of the US$250 million that was announced earlier in the year.

The focus is on next-generation technologies globally, including big data and analytics, the Internet of Things, connected mobility, storage, silicon and content technology ecosystem. Cisco has also invested in MobStac, a Bangalore based startup company, as part of its global connected mobility theme.

Dinesh Malkani, President, Sales, Cisco India and SAARC, said, “Cisco’s belief is that the innovative application of technology can have a positive impact on India’s competitiveness, diversification of its industry base, its ability to create jobs and improve quality of life for its citizens. The announcement underscores Cisco’s recognition of the tremendous innovation and potential that the India technology market offers. Our objective is to help catalyse and accelerate that potential into action that will have a positive impact in India and globally.”

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The investment philosophy of Cisco Investments has evolved over the years. While the company will continue its nearly 20-year history of investments focussed on Cisco’s existing core businesses, the launch of the thematic investing approach extends this perspective to support companies that have innovative ideas to shape the overall global networking ecosystem in the future.

Besides contributing capital to early-stage companies, Cisco Investments helps accelerate the development of these companies by connecting them to resources such as Cisco IT, Cisco’s business leaders and Cisco’s network of partners and customers through major industry events such as the annual Cisco Live.