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Cisco Venture Arm Backing Internet-of-Things Start-Ups

Loose bills of multiple denominations (borman818)

(Daniel Borman/Flickr)

1 May 2014. Cisco Investments, the venture capital division of the network technologies company, is taking minority stakes in start-up companies and an accelerator that add Internet connectivity to everyday devices and products, known as Internet-of-Things. The company also plans to make $150 million in early-stage investments over the next two to three years on start-ups in information technology business lines that support Cisco’s strategic goals.

The new investments by Cisco include backing the companies Ayla Networks and EVRYTHNG developing platforms for Internet-of-Things connectivity. Cisco’s investments are part of first- or second-round venture financing announced yesterday by Ayla Networks’ ($14.5 million) and EVRYTHNG ($7 million). Cisco is also supporting Alchemist Accelerator, that offers training and seed-stage funding to technology start-ups serving business clients rather than consumers.

The new investments add to the $100 million by Cisco Investments announced in January 2014 by company president John Chambers at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Those investments, says the company, will support early-stage companies in Internet-of-Things, as well as related mobility and cloud computing technologies.

Cisco Investments says it plans to make $150 million in early-stage investments over two to three years in companies developing solutions in Internet-of-Things, mobility, and cloud computing, but also enterprises working in other fields with disruptive market potential where Cisco plans to grow. These fields include big data and analytics, storage, semiconductor, and content technologies. The company as well intends to support technology innovations in India.

Today, Cisco Investments says it has $2 billion in more than 80 direct investments in companies as well as taking part in 35 investment funds run by other venture capital companies.

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