Business, Investments

Cisco pours in $150M fund for IoT startups

Cisco Investments, the corporate venture capital arm of Cisco, announced on Wednesday, its plans to allocate USD 150 million in funding early stage startups and accelerators. The fund will be focused next horizon “themes” to accelerate the development of disruptive technology markets.

This will include big data and analytics; the Internet of Things (IoT); connected mobility; storage; silicon; the content technology ecosystem; and India innovation.

Previously, in the beginning of the year, Cisco has also committed USD 100 million to startups focused on the emerging Internet of Everything (IoE) market opportunity. Thus raising the total to USD 250 million for the IoT startup community.

Three startups and IoT accelerators which have already received a part of this fund include Alchemist Accelerator, Ayla Networks and EVRYTHNG. Here is a brief overview for each:

EVRYTHNG: A ‘Web of Things’ software company, it allows companies to manage their connected products, make product operations smarter with real-time tracking analytics, and help their customers connect to products in a smarter way.

Here is a 77 second video on how the platform works for its clients.

Alchemist Accelerator: It is an accelerator exclusively for startups whose revenue comes from enterprises, not consumers. It is currently inviting applications for August 2014 batch. 13 teams in a six months training program will be given opportunity to secure around USD 28k funding.

Ayla Networks: provides a cloud-based application enablement platform to help device makers quickly integrate secure connectivity and data intelligence into products. Also, it makes it easy and cost effective for OEMs (Original Equipment Manuacturer) to connect any device to the Internet.  

Apart from funding, they will also receive  expertise and resources such as Cisco IT, Cisco’s business leaders and Cisco’s network of partners and customers through major industry events, such as the annual Cisco Live.

“Our ability to identify and stay ahead of market disruptions is deeply rooted in our build, buy, partner and integrate approach to innovation. We gain valuable insight and an understanding of market trends through equity investments in young and interesting companies who are leading the way through new market disruptions,” said Hilton Romanski, senior vice president, Cisco Corporate Development.

Currently, Cisco has an active portfolio with a fair market value of USD 2 billion with more than 80 direct investments around the world, as well as limited-partner positions (as an investor in a fund run by a venture capital firm) in more than 35 funds globally.

Other theme investment done by company include Whiptail (advanced storage theme, since acquired by Cisco); Bit Stew Systems (IoT theme); Loggly and Platfora (big data theme); EnVerv (silicon theme); and Belly, MobStac and Phunware (connected mobility theme).  

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