Cisco Investments to invest $40 million in early stage product startups in India

After Google and Intel, Cisco is also gearing up with their Investment arm in India. Cisco’s venture capital arm – Cisco Investments has announced an additional allocation of USD $40 million under the theme ‘India Innovation‘ to fund early stage product startups in India.

This funding is focused on product and technologies that are unique and relevant to India and other emerging markets. These startups could primarily include cost optimised designs, industry vertical solutions and application of cloud.

Dinesh Malkani, President, Sales, Cisco India and SAARC believes that Cisco would work along with startups and provide them a platform to grow. He added,

Cisco’s belief is that the innovative application of technology can have a positive impact on India;s competitiveness, diversification of its industry base,  its ability to create jobs and improve quality of life for its citizens. This announcement from Cisco underscores the companies long recognition of tremendous innovation and potential that the India technology market offers. Our objective is to help catalyse and accelerate that potential into action that will have a positive impact in India and globally.

Under this ‘India Innovation‘ theme, Cisco has invested in Covacsis, a real-time analytics platform software provider

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to manufacturing production floors. This Mumbai-based startup, Covacsis was founded by Tarun Mishra and Abhijeet Mhatre in 2009. The Intelligent Plant Framework that Covacsis uses captures all micro events across all locations on the plant floor and models them into key and extremely relevant business KPI’s. Covacsis’s proprietary tool, RTPD, measures the economies of the production floor of any industry. After a preliminary check on the various revenue leaks in a production floor, the RTPD then provides information about capital gained or lost due to various operations of the floor.

Cisco’s this initiative confirms its commitment to India and marks a new phase of support for innovation in India. The venture investment in India is consistent with it’s long track record of driving IT market growth through investment in the innovation economics. Over the years, Cisco has been an active equity investor in India and has made significant strategic investments in the growth stage startups include Netmagic, Apalya and Aavishkaar, social innovation funds.

Confident about India’s development and rise, Joydeep Bose, MD, Corporate Development, Cisco Asia Pacific and Japan shared,

India is committed to rapidly building out its communications infrastructure, which presents a unique opportunity for local entrepreneurs to develop new technologies and applications. As a leading strategic investor, Cisco Investments is committed to support the building of entrepreneurial capacity and nurture the local early stage startup ecosystem in India. By spurring and accelerating technology innovation, we want to help India evolve as a global hub for innovation and help Cisco become a defining player in taking technology investment in the region to the next level.

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Cisco Investments’s existing portfolio globally is over $2 billion. This new round of $40 million for India is part of the global $250 million that was announced earlier to be invested in startups covering big data and analytics, Internet of Things(IoT), connected mobility, storage, silicon and content technology ecosystem.

Over the years, Cisco has evolved its strategic investment philosophy. Apart from company’s 20-year old historic style of strategic investing, this launch of thematic investing approach extends its deep desire to support companies who have innovative ideas to shape the global networking ecosystem for future.

Apart from influx of capital into startups, Cisco Investments would help accelerate the development of these startups by connecting them to expertise and resources  as Cisco IT, Cisco’s business leaders and Cisco’s network of partners and customers through major industry events.


Subodh Kolhe