Cisco’s head of mergers and acquisitions, and venture investments Rob Salvagno revealed the company’s investment plans in a recent interview with LiveMint. The company is reportedly looking to invest $200 Mn in startups globally, including the US and India.
“I’m very bullish on India. I see our participation, going forward, only increasing. We think that there’s more opportunity for enterprise and B2B (business-to-business) plays in India,” said Rob.
Also, the company will continue with its aggressive acquisition strategy. It has so far acquired 204 companies since its inception, including AppDynamics, which was founded by Indian-origin Silicon Valley entrepreneur Jyoti Bansal.
“Our innovation strategy intentionally involves outside innovation… We’ve been innovating well internally, but we also recognise that there is a lot of innovation happening outside the walls of Cisco,” added Rob.
It must be noted that Cisco has already invested in more than 20 Indian companies as well as a few India-based VCs such as IDG Ventures and Stellaris Venture Partners.
Earlier in March this year, Inc42 reported that the US-headquartered network equipment manufacturer is looking to launch a second India-focused technology fund.
To this end, the company is searching for collaborations with VCs and investments in promising tech startups in the country. Also, its new technology fund will focus on B2B SaaS and other areas like security, collaboration, and SDN.
In May 2018, nonprofit incubator N/Core also selected eight early-stage nonprofits for a six-month incubation programme in partnership with Cisco. The organisations were picked from a pool of 713 applications. The applicants included graduates from prestigious institutions worldwide, including the IITs.
Prior to this, Cisco earmarked a corpus of $280 Mn towards investments in Indian startups. In February last year, Cisco LaunchPad also invited India-based tech startups focused on the B2B/B2B2C segments to apply for its second cohort.
The startup accelerator was launched in July 2016 to bring together Cisco, startups, and the developer community to deliver business-relevant end-to-end digital solutions.