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Cisco Investments Gets $150M Boost

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Cisco Investments, the corporate venture capital arm of Cisco, today announced it is allocating an additional $150 million over the next two to three years to fund early-stage companies and further foster innovation in the global startup community. The new funding allocation builds on Cisco Investments' current $2 billion portfolio and is focused on next horizon "themes" to accelerate the development of disruptive technology markets, including big data and analytics; the Internet of Things (IoT); connected mobility; storage; silicon; the content technology ecosystem; and India innovation.

Cisco Investments also today announced it has made three minority investments in IoT accelerators and startups Alchemist Accelerator, Ayla Networks and EVRYTHNG. The new funding increases Cisco Investments' thematic investing to $250 million total, adding to the previously announced $100 million commitment to startups focused on the emerging Internet of Everything (IoE) market opportunity.

A new emphasis for Cisco Investments is to accelerate the development of the portfolio companies 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 Investments' nearly 20-year history of strategic investing aligns with Cisco's existing business, including cloud, data center, mobility, collaboration, security, routing and switching. The launch of our thematic investing approach extends this perspective to support companies who have innovative ideas that will shape the overall global networking ecosystem in the future.

"Our ability to identify and stay ahead of market disruptions is deeply rooted in our build, buy, partner and integrate approach to innovation," said Hilton Romanski, senior vice president, Cisco Corporate Development. "We gain valuable insight and an understanding of market trends through equity investments in young and interesting companies who are leading the way through new market disruptions. Our investments in Alchemist Accelerator, Ayla Networks and EVRYTHNG align with our focus on early-stage innovation and companies focused on the Internet of Things."

"We are thrilled to be partnering with Cisco on an Internet-of-Things-focused Accelerator. The resources, mentorship, and connections across Cisco and Alchemist offer a synergistic foundation for IoT founders looking for deep industry partnerships and expertise, with a network designed to champion founder interests," said Ravi Belani, managing director, Alchemist Accelerator.

"Cisco Investments was quickly able to grasp the huge potential for Ayla's Agile IoT platform technology and business model," said Dave Friedman, co-founder and CEO, Ayla Networks. "The Internet of Things represents one of the largest opportunities in technology, and Ayla is fortunate to be able to access the resources, expertise, and relationships that Cisco Investments can bring."

"We're delighted to be working with Cisco on the Internet of Everything," said Niall Murphy, CEO, EVRYTHNG. "This round of funding allows us to further EVRYTHNG's mission to help businesses connect every product to the Web with its own intelligent online identity." More on Cisco Investments

  • Cisco Investments combines the benefits of a strategic corporate investor with that of traditional venture investing and uses a wide range of investment vehicles to foster innovation in the startup community. Investment types range from small grants to seed-stage companies and winners of business-plan competitions, to larger equity investments in later stage and even pre-IPO companies.
  • Cisco Investments is an active investor with more than 40 investment professionals with deep market and technology expertise located in major geographies, including the United States, China, India, Israel, and Europe.
  • Currently, Cisco has an active portfolio with a fair market value of US$2 billion with more than 80 direct investments around the world, as well as limited-partner positions (as an investor in a fund run by a venture capital firm) in more than 35 funds globally.
  • Other theme investment examples include: Whiptail (advanced storage theme, since acquired by Cisco); Bit Stew Systems (IoT theme); Loggly and Platfora (big data theme); EnVerv (silicon theme); and Belly,MobStac and Phunware (connected mobility theme).

    Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)

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