Cisco venture arm adds $40 mn to corpus for funding Indian start-ups

Cisco Investments, the venture capital arm of American information technology giant Cisco, today announced an additional allocation of $40 million to fund early-stage firms in India under its 'India Innovation' scheme.

The new funding allocation builds on Cisco Investments' momentum in the country and is focused on product and technologies, including cost-optimised designs, industry vertical solutions and application of cloud, that are unique and relevant to India and other emerging markets, the company said in Coimbatore.

Cisco also announced its first investment under 'India Innovation' theme in Covacsis - a Mumbai-based real-time analytics platform software provider for the manufacturing operations.

Cisco Investments' existing portfolio is over $2 billion worldwide and the $40 million early-stage allocation under the 'India Innovation' theme is part of the $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 (IoT), connected mobility, storage, silicon and content technology ecosystem. Cisco has also invested in MobStac, a Bangalore-based start-up, as part of its global connected mobility theme.

Besides contributing capital to early-stage companies, Cisco Investments helps accelerate their development by connecting them to expertise and 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.

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

"Today's investment theme announcement underscores Cisco's commitment to India and marks a new phase of support for innovation in India, aligned to the country's national transformation agenda," the company said.

"The venture investment in India is consistent with Cisco's long track record of driving IT market growth through investment in the innovation economies," it said.

While the company will continue its nearly 20-year history of strategic investing focused on Cisco's existing core businesses, the launch of the thematic investing approach extends this perspective to support companies which have innovative ideas that will shape the overall global networking ecosystem in the future.