John Chambers, the former executive chairman of networking giant Cisco and chairman of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, took to Twitter late Tuesday evening to announce the launch of his new venture capital fund JC2 Ventures.
"I’m thrilled to announce the launch of JC2 Ventures! Our mission is to change the world by investing in startups across industries & geographies that share our passion for solving major issues using digital tech," Chambers wrote.
I’m thrilled to announce the launch of JC2 Ventures! Our mission is to change the world by investing in #startups across industries & geographies that share our passion for solving major issues using digital tech. Check out our new website for more. https://t.co/L59zlEYBYT
— John T. Chambers (@JohnTChambers) January 16, 2018
Currently, JC2 Ventures is operational in the US cities of Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, New York, Silicon Valley, and Tempe. Outside the US, the fund will invest in France, Germany, and India.
Other executives at JC2 Ventures include the former Cisco chairman's son John J. Chambers who is the fund’s head of growth and strategic marketing adviser. Besides managing internal operations, he will evaluate new technologies and opportunities. Prior to joining JC2 Ventures, John led digital marketing teams at home improvement platform Houzz, video streaming firm Netflix, and retailer Walmart eCommerce.
Shannon Pina, the chief of staff, will oversee communications for the fund. She will also manage day-to-day operations and will serve as a liaison to the various companies under the JC2 Ventures portfolio. Pina was previously Chambers’ executive communications manager for over a decade at Cisco.
The JC2 portfolio already includes eight companies—Airware, Aspire, Dedrone, OpenGov, Pindrop, Privoro, Sprinklr, and Uniphore. While Airware and Dedrone are primarily drone companies, OpenGov is a cloud solution for public sector budgeting, operational performance, and citizen engagement. Airware develops commercial drone solutions, enabling enterprises to take full advantage of aerial data. Dedrone provides airspace security and boasts of an automated software platform that detects drones and mitigates all drone threats. Pindrop is an information security startup that scans phone calls to detect fraud and authenticates calls. Privoro develops mobile security products that prevent location tracking, and audio and video surveillance. Sprinklr is a customer experience management platform for enterprises.
Chambers, in November last year, had picked up a 10% stake in Chennai-based speech recognition software company Uniphore. The JC2 Ventures CEO, in a Twitter conversation with VCCircle last month, had already made his intention clear of working with Indian startups.
"For these companies, and each startup that we add to our portfolio in the months and years to come, we are much more than investors. We’re mentors of digital innovation, who coach each company on their journey, using our experiences to help them see around corners, accelerate markets, and create entirely new ones," Chambers said.
JC2 will initially focus its investments in categories such as Internet of Things, digital communications (such as social media, customer experience, and voice as the next platform), security, agri-tech, and companies with digital implications.