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Cisco Investments to invest $40M on product startups in India

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Cisco’s venture capital arm Cisco Investments has allocated an additional $40 million to fund early stage firms in India.

The company mentions this fund will be focused on product and technologies which are unique and relevant to India and other emerging markets. This includes cloud application, industry vertical solutions and cost optimized designs. Cisco noted that its recent investment in the Mumbai-based real-time analytics platform software provider Covacsis was the first investment through this fund.

Joydeep Bose, Managing Director, Corporate Development, Cisco Asia Pacific & Japan has told NextBigWhat that they do not have any fixed ticket size for these investments and it will vary from $500,000 to about $12 million. The company also apparently picks up less than 20% stake in its investee companies.

This $40 million capital is a part of Cisco’s $250 million global “thematic investment” fund that was announced earlier this year. Cisco had initially allocated a capital of $100 million to invest in early stage companies in the Internet of Things (IoT) segment in February this year. Few months later, it allocated an additional $150 million over the next two to three years.

The fund focuses on next generation technologies globally, including big data & analytics, Internet of Things, connected mobility, storage, silicon, and content technology ecosystem. Cisco had invested $1 million in the Bangalore-based mobile publishing company MobStac as part of this global fund in January this year.

Cisco Investment’s investment strategy: Cisco Investments currently does two types of investments – strategic investing focused on Cisco’s existing core businesses including cloud, data center, mobility, collaboration, security, routing & switching and thematic investing to support companies “who have innovative ideas that will shape the overall global networking ecosystem in the future.”

The company claims to currently have an active portfolio of over $2 billion worldwide, with more than 80 direct investments. In India, the company’s investments include Apalya Technologies in April last year, AR Rahman & Shekhar Kapur’s media venture Qyuki in February 2012 and Netmagic Solutions in October 2010. Japan’s telecom behemoth NTT had later acquired 74% in Netmagic Solutions.

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