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Stellaris Venture Partners brings in Cisco Investments as Limited Partner
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Early-stage venture capital firm Stellaris Venture Partners said the investment arm of global technology giant Cisco Systems Inc. has come in as a Limited Partner (LP) for its first fund.

The tech giant invested through unit Cisco Investments, Stellaris said in a statement. It did not disclose the amount Cisco invested.

“Cisco is committed to India’s next phase of digital transformation through strategic investments in the country’s innovation ecosystem,” said Sameer Garde, president, Cisco India and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), in the statement.

Stellaris, founded by former top executives at venture capital firm Helion Venture Partners, is looking to raise $100 million (Rs 636 crore) for the fund.

It had marked the first close at $50 million in February last year.

Cisco joins another tech giant, Infosys Ltd, in backing Stellaris. India's second-largest software services company had said in November 2016 that it invested Rs 31.6 crore in the Stellaris fund.

The VC firm's other LPs, or investors, include financial institutions, corporate houses, entrepreneurs and family offices in the United States, Europe and Asia.

In May last year, International Finance Corporation (IFC) had also proposed to invest $10 million in the VC firm’s debut fund.

Alok Goyal, partner at Stellaris, said the VC firm will look to tap into deep technology expertise and global market reach of Cisco for the benefit of its portfolio companies.

Stellaris invests in seed and Series A rounds in technology startups. Its investment areas includes local language online services, technology-led financial inclusion, supply chain networks, vertical machine-learning applications and global software-as-a-service businesses.

Its investments include mobile business-to-business marketplace Wydr and online doctor consultation platform Mfine.

Stellaris was started by Goyal, Ritesh Banglani and Rahul Chowdhri after they quit Helion. Until December 2015, the trio were managing a dozen firms under Helion’s portfolio including Housing.com, Lifecell, Dentys, TrulyMadly, Whatfix, BigBasket, Shopclues and Toppr.

Over the past year, apart from Stellaris a clutch of big and small VC firms including IDG Ventures, Endiya Partners and Fireside Ventures also announced milestones in their respective fundraising efforts.

Earlier this month, pi Ventures marked the second close of its debut fund while 3one4 Capital hit the final close of its second fund.

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