US technology company Cisco has announced to increase its investments for the second phase of its Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme in India, which focusses on accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship, 5G use cases for citizen services, and transportation modernisation.
“India is an important market for us. While we are not disclosing the amount we would be investing, it is clear that we are betting on India as a key market. We are adding four more states to our existing initiatives towards areas like innovation, smart cities,” PTI quoted Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins as saying.
The US-based tech company has committed an investment of $100 Mn in the first phase of its CDA programme, and has completed over 50 projects, including setting up of 10 innovation labs, three smart city showcases, and a cyber-range — a virtual environment used for cyber warfare training and development.
Robbins recently met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and apprised the initiatives being taken by Cisco, and how the company could potentially work to unleash the younger generation’s passion for technology through its entrepreneurship programme.
Related Article: India Innovation Growth Programme 2.0 To Invest $2 Mn In Startups
According to Robbins, Cisco has also signed agreements with government think-tank Niti Aayog and state-owned telecommunication company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).
As part of Cisco’s engagement with Niti Aayog, the company will boost connectivity and collaboration across all 100 Atal Incubation Centres, by equipping them with its conferencing platforms. It will also connect these centres with Cisco’s incubation and innovation centres across the world to connect entrepreneurs with global innovators.
Cisco’s CDA has a long-term partnership with national leadership, industry and academia. The strategy includes accelerating the national digitisation agenda, to help the country grow its Gross Domestic Product ( GDP), create new jobs, and provide innovation and education across public and private sectors.
Meanwhile, Cisco’s partnership with BSNL will set up a dedicated location to demonstrate use cases of 5G, which promises faster internet speed and better user experience, to address challenges in areas such as education, healthcare, and agriculture.
Cisco: Investments In India
Inc42 had earlier reported that Cisco Systems is looking to launch a second India-focussed technology fund, and for collaborations with VCs and investments in promising tech startups of the country. Cisco has already invested in more than 20 Indian companies, few India-based VC firms such as IDG Ventures and Stellaris Venture Partners.
In June this year, Avi Networks, a company that provides software for the delivery of enterprise applications, had raised $60 Mn in Series D financing from Cisco Investments as its new investor. CISCO is further looking to invest $200 Mn in startups globally, including the US and India. The company will also continue with its aggressive acquisition strategy, it said. It has so far acquired 204 companies since its inception.[The development was reported by Livemint]