Cisco Investments, the venture capital arm of Cisco, has announced the allocation of $40 million to fund early-stage firms in India under the ‘India Innovation theme’. The new funding allocation is focused on product and technologies that are unique and relevant to India and other emerging markets, including cost optimised designs, industry vertical solutions and application of cloud.
As part of the India Innovation theme, the company has also disclosed its first investment in Mumbai-based Covacsis Technologies Pvt Ltd, an enterprise software firm. Last month, Covacsis had raised an undisclosed amount in its Series B round of funding from multiple investors led by GenNext Ventures, the venture investment arm of Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries, as well as existing investor Blume Ventures.
While at the time Covacsis’ co-founder Tarun Mishra had mentioned that other investors had also participated in the round, he had declined to give any further information on the same.
Dinesh Malkani, president, sales, Cisco India and SAARC, said, “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. Today’s announcement underscores Cisco’s recognition of the innovation and potential that the India technology market offers. Our objective is to help catalyse and accelerate that potential into action.”
“India is committed to rapidly building out its communications infrastructure, which presents a unique opportunity for local entrepreneurs to develop new technologies and applications. 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,” added Joydeep Bose, MD, corporate development, Cisco Asia Pacific and Japan.
The $40 million early stage allocation under the India Innovation theme is a part of the $250 million that was announced earlier this year focused on next generation technologies globally, including big data & analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), connected mobility, storage, silicon, and content technology ecosystem. Besides contributing capital to early-stage companies, Cisco Investments helps accelerate the development of these companies by connecting them to expertise and resources.
Currently, Cisco has an active portfolio of $2 billion with over 75 direct investments around the world. It also holds limited partner (LP) positions in over 35 funds globally. Cisco has invested in Indian ventures such as Apalya, Netmagic, Qyuki, MobStac, Moxtra, Indiagames, Comviva, as well as social innovation funds like Aavishkaar.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)