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Indian start-ups get funding from Cisco

Posted: 09 Nov 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:start-up  India Innovation  Internet of Things  big data 

Cisco's venture capital arm, Cisco Investments, has devoted funds in two early-stage start-ups, BusinessLine reported.

The investment will come from the ₹240.9 crore ($40 million) allocation to the India Innovation theme. Launched in June 2014, the fund focuses on three verticals, namely connected mobility, big data and Internet of Things.

India Innovation is carved out of Cisco's existing $250 million global fund.

The networking giant has already invested in Covacsis, Mobstac, Ineda and MobiKwik prior to the two start-ups. These start-ups are developing products and solutions that are in line with the funding company's business, which include cloud, data centre, and switching and routing.

According to Joydeep Bose, managing director at Cisco Investments – Asia Pacific Japan, the company has made six investment in early-stage Indian start-ups over the last 18 months and has enough money left from the India Innovation theme to finance promising start-ups until December 2016.

Cisco has invested in 25 Indian start-ups for the past 10 years.

Bose said the investments range from $800,000 to as big as $15 million for each start-up. Although Cisco declined to mention the two start-ups so as not "to steal their thunder," Bose revealed that one is an IoT systems integration company while the other is into video analytics.

Cisco said it gets an 18 per cent to 20 per cent stake in the start-ups it chooses to fund and takes board observer seats in the company. Apart from the capital contribution, Cisco Investments connects these early-stage start-ups to expertise and resources including Cisco IT, business leaders, venture capitalists, and network of potential customers and partners.

The India Innovation fund is not limited to ₹240.9 crore as the investment arm's mandate is to go back and ask for more as needed, according to Alok Bardiya, Cisco's country director of corporate development. Moreover, the company is also not limited to investing in start-ups. The fund will also be used in partnerships with accelerators, incubator at top colleges and angel groups.

"Part of why we're doing this is we're going after the India market aggressively," The Economic Times quoted Dinesh Malkani, president of sales at Cisco India, as saying.

- Stephen Padilla

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