Cisco Pumps More Money Into The Internet Of Things
May 7, 2014

Cisco To Invest $150 Million In Global Startups, Internet Of Things

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Cisco announced on Tuesday that it will invest an additional $150 million over the next few years in early-stage companies to promote innovation in the global startup community.

The new funding will augment the current $2 billion portfolio of Cisco Investments, Cisco’s corporate venture capital arm. The money will be focused towards a number of disruptive technology markets, such as big data and analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), connected mobility, storage, silicon, the content technology ecosystem and innovation in India, Cisco said.

“These seven themes provide a unique lens into where markets are headed, how customers and the ecosystem are reacting to new innovation, and clues on how Cisco, our customers and our partners can best participate in exciting new trends,” wrote Hilton Romanski, senior vice president of Cisco Corporate Development, in a recent blog post.

As part of the funding push, Cisco said it has made three investments in IoT accelerators and startups Alchemist Accelerator, Ayla and Evrythng. That funding increases Cisco Investments' thematic investing to $250 million, adding to the previously announced $100 million commitment to startups focused on the emerging Internet of Everything (IoE) market. Other theme investments by Cisco 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).

"Our ability to identify and stay ahead of market disruptions is deeply rooted in our build, buy, partner and integrate approach to innovation," Romanski said a corporate statement.

"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 at 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, chief executive of 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."

Cisco Investments includes more than 40 investment professionals throughout the US, Europe, India and Israel. The current active portfolio has a fair market value of more than $2 billion, with more than 80 direct investments around the world, as well as limited-partner positions in more than 35 funds globally.