Cisco merges Pawaa Software in its first India acquisition

Global technology major Cisco has announced its first acquisition in India by taking over Bengaluru-based IT security company Pawaa Software for an undisclosed amount.

Pawaa software was the latest cohort of startups to join Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR), an incubation programme supporting early-stage business-to-business companies.

Pawaa, as part of Cisco, will now collaborate with Cisco and its global partner ecosystem to build Internet of Everything, Big Data / Analytics and Smart City solutions, Cisco said in a release.

Cohort companies take part in a six-month programme of events, mentoring and collaboration geared towards bringing ideas to reality. Entrepreneurs selected to participate receive support from and introductions

Pawaa, which provides security solutions and cloud-based file-sharing software, will be integrated with Cisco's Software Platform Group.

Pawaa's founder Prakash Baskaran has been appointed as chief technology officer for Cisco's security solutions division.

Early stage Bangalore-based company, Pawaa Software, has received its third patent granted by USPTO and has filed for its eighth patent.

The latest patent, "Method and system for secured data storage and sharing over cloud based network" uniformly solves the issues related to file security on popular cloud storages such as Box, Dropbox, Skydrive (OneDrive) and Google Drive in addition to standard local storages. Unlike competition, the technology is abstracted to achieve "one click encryption and one click decryption".

''Security is a bigger opportunity for India than IT. There is a shortage of hundreds of thousands of security professionals globally and India can solve that problem,'' Business line quoted Pankaj Patel, executive vice president and chief development officer at Cisco, as saying.

He said Cisco will be willing to invest in, or acquire, more such innovative companies in this space.

Pawaa became a part of this six-month programme at Cisco's San Jose campus in 2014, after which Cisco decided to acquire the company's capabilities in providing policy-based data flow between business systems and people.

Cisco's investment arm has already put money in many Indian companies, including Covacsis, MobStacs and MobiKwik. Pawaa is the first direct acquisition by the company in the country. Cisco on an average invests $1.7 billion a year in India, much of which goes into improving its research and development capabilities.

Acquisition and co-development are the company's two biggest strategies to improve capabilities and to tap into newer technology domains and markets. However, Patel said the company so far has not done any co-development with Indian firms and acquisitions will remain an important strategy for India.

Cisco is also developing its first innovation centre in India, which will focus on e-governance, smart cities and education. The centre, Cisco's tenth globally, is likely to be located in Andhra Pradesh.