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Sales Workshop with Paula Hansen
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Author: Tod Hays Startups need more than just funding to run a successful business. That’s why Cisco Investments works to provide relevant entrepreneur workshops like the one we held last month focusing on sales. We had Paula Hansen, VP of Sales in Cisco’s Global Enterprise business, as a presenter. And she’s one of the best in the business. Hansen drives business value and market differentiation and has an impressive track record of consistent profitable revenue growth and partnerships.
 
Cisco Live enables customers, executives, and partners to gather together in a venue that encourages interaction and making impactful connections. It provides a location and setting to share insights on emerging technologies and discuss the potential of each one to transform the future. Considering the above and the value in providing our portfolio companies with exposure to such an event, Cisco Investments will again host a targeted set of Cisco’s world wide investment portfolio at CiscoLive!
 
Author: Hitesh Saijpal Delivering IT services seamlessly, reliably, and at a global scale for tens of thousands of employees and contractors is never easy. And yet, Cisco IT makes it look easy. This makes Cisco IT special and a key part of our value as a strategic investor. At Cisco Investments, we are pleased to expose our portfolio companies to Cisco IT, so they can validate an idea or explore proof of concepts and pilots,
 
Author: Hitesh Saijpal One of the most exciting things about my role is being able to introduce Cisco Investment (CI) Portfolio companies to our customers. Not only can our portfolio companies provide valuable insights into new markets for our customers, but many of these startups are innovating in emerging technologies that can be a competitive advantage for our customers. On December 6th, CI partnered with IDEAL London and University College London to host a customer event at the Cisco Innovation Center in London.
 
Author: Hitesh Saijpal One of the most exciting things about being a strategic investor is getting deep insight into what’s happening in growing markets like IoT or big data. This kind of exposure and market intelligence is valuable not just for Cisco as a whole, but also for our vast network of customers and partners. We recently hosted a deep dive on our IoT investment strategy for one of our leading channel partners,
 
Author: Ankur Saxena The recent DDoS attack via IoT botnets have again brought into the spotlight the dangers of connecting vulnerable IoT devices such as cameras, DVRs, and refrigerators to the internet. Furthermore, cyber-attacks on critical connected assets such as nuclear facilities, energy grids, steel mills and connected cars have grown over the recent years and more attacks are imminent. Cisco has been a pioneer in several IoT and Security segments. In order to extend Cisco’s market leadership,
 
Author: Hitesh Saijpal At Cisco Investments, we aim to give our portfolio companies exposure to our vast customer base.  One of the ways we do this is by giving them opportunities to present in our Customer Experience Center (CXC) briefings. Cisco regularly hosts customers of all sizes at our offices, who travel from around the world to learn more about how Cisco’s technology can transform their business through in-depth presentations and demos. A few weeks ago,
 
Author: Hitesh Saijpal A good sales strategy can make or break a new company. Even with an incredible product and overwhelming market demand, if you don’t have the right sales strategy you won’t be able to find and keep your customers. That’s why this week, we hosted our first ever sales workshop for Cisco Investments’ portfolio companies. Ten global companies joined us, either at Cisco’s headquarters in San Jose or virtually over WebEx,
 
Author: Vin Lingathoti Cisco Investments is bullish on venture investments in Italy. In a recent Q&A in Italy’s Economyup. IT, I shared some details about Cisco’s investment strategy in Italy. Cisco Investments, the corporate venture capital arm of Cisco, has 45 investment professionals across the globe. We actively seek investment opportunities in areas such as IoT, Security, Data Center, Big Data, Cloud and Enterprise Collaboration. Earlier this year, we invested €5M in Invitalia Ventures.
 
Author: Hitesh Saijpal People often ask me what I mean when I say that Cisco Investments is a strategic venture capital firm. To me, it means that we invest for both strategic and financial reasons – it’s about more than the rate of return. We look for opportunities to help our portfolio companies grow through access and collaboration with Cisco’s vast network of partners and customers. This year we began a new initiative to introduce our portfolio companies to our top channel partners.
 
Workday signed a definitive agreement to acquire Platfora, a leading provider of operational analytics and data discovery tools that enable companies to visually interact with and analyze petabyte-scale data in seconds.
 
Flashpoint, the global leader in intelligence from the Deep & Dark Web, is expanding into Business Risk Intelligence (BRI) to deliver its unique insights gleaned from the underbelly of the Internet across an enterprise's multiple lines of business.
 
illusive networks, a cybersecurity company at the forefront of deception technology, today announced extending the Series B funding to $25M by investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Bessemer Venture Partners, Cisco Investments, Marker LLC, Citi Ventures, and Eric Schmidt's Innovation Endeavors.
 
IoT has exploded recently, with 844 VC investors participating in at least one deal backing an IoT company since 2010. Last year’s 191 completed deals set a record for deal flow and represented about $1.22 billion of invested capital.
 
Cisco Partner Summit is Cisco’s premier partner event and the 2016 edition just concluded in San Diego on March 3. The visibility of companies in the Cisco Investments Portfolio continues to increase each year at this event.
 
Cisco this week is throwing its hat into the hyperconvergence and software-defined storage ring with a system co-developed with software company Springpath.
 
New strategic investors AT&T, Accenture, Nokia, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui) and Temasek join Team8’s existing investors, including Cisco, Bessemer Venture Partners, Marker LLC and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, to build category-leading cybersecurity companies that challenge the biggest problems in cybersecurity.
 
Adbrain, a leading data intelligence company today announces a strategic investment round of $7.5m. Existing investors Notion Capital and Octopus Ventures are joined by Cisco Investments in this latest round, which will enable Adbrain to further increase its international scale, and solidify its position as a global provider of digital identity solutions for marketers and their partners.
 
LiveAction, Inc., a leading enterprise IT network visibility software platform, today announced a $36 million Series B round of financing in order to expand operations globally and accelerate feature product development, further establishing LiveAction as the visibility software standard for the Global 2000.
 
Veniam, the company that is delivering the Internet of Moving Things, today announced a $22 million Series B round led by Verizon Ventures with new investors Cisco Investments, Orange Digital Ventures, and Yamaha Motor Ventures joining the round.
 
eSentire, Inc., a proven industry leader in managed cybersecurity services, today announced that it had secured a total investment of $19.5 M (USD) co-led by existing investor Edison Partners and Georgian Partners with participation from Cisco Investments, with additional participants including Northleaf Ventures Catalyst Fund, and new investor, Information Venture Partners II, LP.
 
Cisco invests in Archetype Ventures Fund which focuses on early-stage B2B start-ups in Japan. This is Cisco's second investment in Japan, following the investment in smart-FOA in 2014.
 
Kii, a San Mateo, CA- and Tokyo, Japan-based platform that enables mobility and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for global customers, received an equity funding from Cisco Investments, Cisco‘s corporate venture capital arm.
 
The startup is today announcing that it has picked up a strategic round of $25 million from several of the mobile operators that are likely to use it when it’s commercially available. The Series C funding is led by Cisco, with participation also from Verizon Ventures, Deutsche Telekom, along with previous investors NEA, Third Point Ventures and Khosla.
 
The annual Cisco Live! world tour got off to a rousing start with Cisco Live! Berlin in mid-February. All available exhibitor booths and visitor passes were sold out long before the show. Total attendance at the show was over 11,000. Next up is Cisco Live! Las Vegas to be held July 10-14.
 
VeloCloud Networks Inc., the Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN™ company, today announced that it has closed $27 million in Series C financing led by venture fund March Capital Partners and two additional strategic investors, including Cisco Investments.
 
Startupbootcamp, “one of the world’s leading” early-stage start-up accelerators, has received an initial $2.5m investment from tech giant Cisco to help launch “the next generation” of innovative UK digital companies.
 
WORLDSENSING announced today a Series B equity investment by a syndicate of blue-chip investors to accelerate its growth and consolidate its global position in the booming industrial and smart cities Internet of Things (IoT) markets. The investment round is backed by Cisco Investments, Mitsui & Co, Kibo Ventures, Fundación Jose Manuel Entrecanales (FJME) and Endeavor Catalyst.
 
Aquantia, today announced it has secured $37 million in an oversubscribed Series H round of growth capital. New investors participating in this round include Credit Suisse’s Direct Equity Partners, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, and Walden Riverwood along with existing investor Cisco Investments.
 
Sensity Systems Inc., the pioneer of Light Sensory Networks (LSNs), has closed a private funding round of $36 million led by Cisco Investments and includes industry leaders Acuity Brands, GE Ventures and Simon Venture Group (corporate investment arm of Simon Property Group).
 
Today, Cisco announced its intent to acquire OpenDNS, a privately held security company based in San Francisco.
 
Qwilt, the leading provider of open caching and online video delivery solutions, today announced the close of a $25 million Series D funding round. This strategic round, led by Disrupt-ive with a $16 million investment, includes new funding from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors and continued funding from Cisco Investments.
 
In San Diego, Cisco Investments hosted 19 portfolio companies in the Cisco Investments pavilion which had the largest footprint of any Cisco Investments pavilion to date.
 
Today, Cisco is pleased to announce its intent to acquire Embrane, a provider of a lifecycle management platform for application-centric network services.
 
Innovid, a startup that helps advertisers create, target, and measure video ad campaigns, is announcing that it has raised $10 million in new funding. As part of the round, the startup is bringing on Cisco Investments as a new investor.
 
By Nate D'Anna, Director IOT::Empowering the Enterprise turned out to be quite the dance party this year. Or at least the kind of Internet of Things (IOT) party you’d expect when you bring together over 300 IOT thought leaders, including startup founders, venture capitalists and corporate investors, and Fortune 500 executives.
 
First-ever industry conference dedicated to exploring IoT in the enterprise.
 
By Alok Bardiya, Director There has been quite a bit of activity in India since last summer, starting with a new Federal government elected with a full majority (after 30+ years of coalition governments!). The new government has begun moving ahead with market reforms that are needed to transition India to its next cycle of growth.
 
By Hideaki Yajima, Manager On November 14th, Cisco hosted a networking event “Introduction of Cisco Investments” at Midtown Conference, Tokyo. During the networking event, Cisco announced the official launch of Cisco Investments in Japan and introduced Cisco’s first investment executive in Japan, who joined in July.
 
Stratoscale, the software platform for hyper-convergence, today announced its series B funding of $32 million, led by Intel Capital, with participation by Cisco® Investments and SanDisk, as well as other investors including the original series A investors, Battery Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP).
 
Together with Cisco, Puppet Labs is changing the game for IT automation. Puppet Labs software helps thousands of businesses manage infrastructure at scale, allowing them to deliver applications faster and more reliably.
 
Moogsoft, a leader in providing next-generation manager of managers (MoM) services for IT operations, today announced that Cisco Investments and another large public company invested in a second closing to its previously announced Series B round of funding, now totaling $14.3 million.
 
Loggly has secured $15 million in Series C venture financing, bringing total invested capital in the cloud-based log management company to $33.4 million. Harmony Partners led the new round, while existing investors Matrix Partners, Trinity Ventures, Cisco, Data Collective, and True Ventures all increased the size of their investments.
 
Cisco today announced that Cisco Investments, Cisco's venture capital arm, has selected Japan as one of its investment destinations for Internet of Everything (IoE) start-ups and early-stage companies. As part of Cisco's USD $100 million Global IoT Fund, smart-FOA Co., Ltd. will be the first company in Japan to receive funding based on this initiative.
 
Innovators Network is a network of CEOs and Founders from Cisco Investments portfolio companies, other disruptive startups, and companies acquired by Cisco.
 
eSentire, Inc., a leader in Active Threat Protection solutions and managed security services today announced that it had completed a $14M (CAD) Series C investment round led by Georgian Partners with participation from Cisco Investments and Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund along with existing investors Edison Partners and VentureLink.
 
LiveAction, Inc., an application centric software company combining network and application performance management with powerful visualization, analytics and control today announced it has completed a $5.35 million Series A round of financing. AITV led the investment round with participation from Cisco Investments and Enerdigm Ventures.
 
ItsOn Inc., a leader in Mobile Smart Services™, today announced that Cisco Investments has invested in the second and final tranche of its Series C equity financing round. ItsOn is using the Series C funding for sales expansion beyond the U.S. Specific financial details were not disclosed.
 
By Ali Sheikh, Associate What exactly does Cisco Investments do to evaluate its investments? I can give a personal perspective as an associate on the team who led the Phunware investment.
 
Building on the momentum of Cisco Live! San Francisco, Cisco Investments now moves to Europe for an event where Cisco’s Portfolio Companies can showcase their innovations.
 
By Daniel Karp, Cisco Manager If you were to conduct a survey at a typically packed Tel-Aviv coffee shop and ask customers about their current occupation, one of the top answers you will undoubtedly receive is “entrepreneur”. If you were to modify the question slightly and ask whether they have been entrepreneurs in the past, or plan on being such in the future, you would likely get affirmative answers from the majority of the people you survey.
 
By Sandesh Mouli, Cisco Manager Collaborate. Many things come to mind when I think of collaboration, but ultimately it boils down to this: to collaborate means to ‘work with another person or group in order to achieve or do something.’ Simple enough, right? Well that’s how it should be!
 
Georgian Partners today announced that Cisco has made a strategic investment in Georgian Partners Growth Fund II, LP (“Fund II”) the newest fund from Georgian Partners, a growth equity firm investing in expansion-stage software companies. “We are very pleased to have Cisco investing in our second fund.” said Simon Chong, co-founder and managing partner of Georgian Partners. “To have a global leader like Cisco join the fund as an investor demonstrates the validity of our Applied Analytics investment thesis.”
 
Cisco Investments, the venture capital arm of Cisco, today announced an additional allocation of USD $40 million to fund early-stage firms in India under the ‘India Innovation theme'. The new funding allocation builds on Cisco Investments' momentum in India and is focused on product and technologies that are unique and relevant to India and other emerging markets, including cost optimized designs, industry vertical solutions and application of cloud. As part of the India Innovation theme, Cisco also announced its first investment under this theme in Covacsis - a Mumbai-based real-time analytics platform software provider catering to manufacturing production floors.
 
Cisco Canada today, together with Canada's Finance Minister, the Hon. Joe Oliver, announced the Cisco Canada Innovation Program, a strategy to invest $150 million (CAD$) to support and accelerate innovation in Canada. Cisco Investments, through a combination of investments in venture-capital funds, incubators and direct, seeks to drive creative and ambitious innovation in Canada, in addition to providing Cisco technology and go-to-market expertise to Canadian business.
 
Bull City Venture Partners, a Durham, N.C.-based venture capital fund today announced it has closed its oversubscribed Bull City Venture Partners Fund III, L.P., with approximately $26 million in capital commitments. Limited partners include Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Capitol Broadcasting Company, Cisco, venture capitalist Brad Feld, Grosvenor Capital Management, Industry Ventures and Red Hat.
 
OpenDNS, one of the world’s leading providers of cloud-delivered security, today announced a $35 million investment round. Existing OpenDNS investors Greylock Partners, Sequoia Capital and Sutter Hill Ventures all participated in the round, reaffirming their confidence in the vision and execution of the OpenDNS team. OpenDNS also welcomes Glynn Capital, Cisco, Evolution Equity, Lumia Capital, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Northgate Capital as new investment partners.
 
By Cisco Investments Cisco Investments, the corporate venture capital arm of Cisco, today announced it is allocating an additional $150 million over the next two to three years to fund early-stage companies and further foster innovation in the global startup community. The new funding allocation builds on Cisco Investments' current $2 billion portfolio and is focused on next horizon "themes" to accelerate the development of disruptive technology markets, including big data and analytics; the Internet of Things (IoT); connected mobility; storage; silicon; the content technology ecosystem; and India innovation.
 
By Hilton Romanski, Cisco Senior Vice President There is no limit to innovation. Cisco has embraced that idea for more than three decades with our build, buy, partner and integrate growth strategy. Part of that strategy is investing in order to gain insights and drive new innovation. True to that spirit, we have just announced the next evolution of the Cisco Investments platform and a set of investments in support of an exciting new investment theme. These announcements build upon the foundation of our current $2 billion investment portfolio, which fuels innovations across many domains and geographies.
 
By Rob Salvagno, Cisco Vice President There is plenty of capital out there for tech entrepreneurs – from crowd sourcing to the VC that has just closed its latest mega fund. Corporate investors haven’t stood on the sidelines either and the number of corporates announcing new funds also appears to be nearing a crescendo. The approach for each strategic investor varies greatly – with some strategics investing strictly based on their businesses today and others with little to no tie to the current businesses of their corporate parent. As an entrepreneur only you can decide whether and when taking money from a strategic is right for your company.
 
By Nate D'Anna, Cisco Director In the California gold rush, it was not the gold miners who made all the money. As savvy investors know, the visionaries who sold goods to the prospectors profited the most. California’s first millionaire was Sam Brannon, who got his start buying up all the picks, shovels, and pans, then selling them to the prospectors for amazing profits – buying pans at 20¢ each, then reselling them for 133 times that. Eureka!
 
By Janey Hoe, Cisco Director Less than a year ago, I came back to Cisco Investments after many years in product management. Many people have asked me why. Cisco Investments has many things going for it: a top corporate venture in terms of returns, a constant flow of deal activity in the form of investments and exits, a great team with deep market expertise, and strong senior executive sponsorship and engagement across Cisco. Recently, it had broadened its investing approach to focus on next horizon topics—or what we call “theme based investing”—beyond those areas that are directly tied to Cisco’s core businesses of today. It was clear to me that Cisco Investments was in a pivoting moment to help Cisco move onto the next phase.
 
By Rakesh Soni, Cisco Manager The proliferation of mobile devices has empowered the convergence of offline and online experiences – allowing enterprises and services providers to engage with their customer base in ways not possible in the past. The traditional offline & in-person experience when combined with new elements of mobile, social & local, now provide unique and differentiated experiences. Here at Cisco, one way that we are helping drive this phenomenon is through our Connected Mobile Experience initiative or CMX. Cisco CMX personalizes the offline to online journey for consumers using their own mobile devices. Regardless of the type of establishment, whether retail, hospitality, transportation, healthcare, education, or government, visitors in every venue are always on, always connected. CMX lets you tap into this connected lifestyle and provide relevant mobile content while gaining meaningful analytics. For instance, the solution engages consumers with relevant value-added content and offers—and does so in real-time, based on their in-venue location. It captures and analyzes location analytics to give retailers visibility into customer movement and patterns. This solution enables unique customer experiences together with added operational efficiencies; the goal is enhanced customer service and increased revenue.
 
By Joe Chang, Cisco Director Cisco is well known as a leading and active acquirer in technology, with over 169 acquisitions, and a quarter of our current revenue and employees attributable to acquired companies. However, our Corporate Development activities in China are distinctive in that we are focused largely on minority investments and non-controlling stakes, with an objective to support and accelerate the growth of Chinese technology companies rather than acquiring them.
 
By Alok Bardiya, Cisco Director If I were to ask, what are your company’s plans to use product/platform innovations from India – I am guessing the reaction would range from “are you serious?” to something more neutral at best. But the reality is far more interesting. India is recognized as a global center when it comes to IT services. It’s based on the tried and tested “time and materials” and employee cost arbitrage model. This has been the story since the late ‘90s—when Indian companies first started working on Y2K projects!
 
Cisco Investments sponsors Regional Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) 2014.
 
Cisco Investments provides Portfolio Companies with access to Cisco’s Partners.
 
Cisco Investments Connected Series engages our portfolio companies in useful connections.
 
Cisco Investments was part of the largest gathering of Cisco customers, experts, and partners anywhere in the world.
 
Embrane®, a leader in delivering application-centric network services, today announced it has raised $14 million in Series-C funding, led by Cisco. The round also includes new Embrane investor Presidio Ventures, and participation from existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and North Bridge Venture Partners.
 
EnVerv Inc., an innovative fabless semiconductor company and a leading provider of high performance communications and metering System on Chip (SoC) solutions for the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), smart grid, solar and other grid connectivity markets announced today the closing of its $15.4M round of series C financing with participation from Cassiopeia Capital Partners, Cisco, UMC Capital and existing investors, Benchmark Capital, NEA, and Walden International.
 
Platfora, the Big Data Analytics software company that aims to eradicate the gut decision, today announced a $38 million investment led by Tenaya Capital, which brings the company’s total financing to $65 million. Also participating in this round are Citi Ventures, Cisco and Allegis Capital, as well as prior investors Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures and In-Q-Tel.
 
Phunware, the pioneer of Multiscreen as a Service (MaaS), the first fully integrated services platform that enables brands to engage, manage and monetize their anytime anywhere users worldwide, today announced that it has raised $26.25 million of Series E funding led by Firsthand Technology Value Fund (NASDAQ: SVVC). The balance of the oversubscribed $30 million funding round is expected to close in the next 60 days.
 
Intel Capital has seen the most IPO or M&A exits since the start of 2009. But SAP Ventures has seen the highest share of its exits come via IPOs. Armed with big balance sheets and a need to stay ahead of emerging tech trends, corporations are increasingly diving into venture investing for both strategic gain and financial returns. Using CB Insights data, we took a look at which corporate venture capital arms have racked up the most exits since 2009 and of these firms, who has seen the highest share of exits via IPOs vs. M&A.
 
Corporate venture investors lead the way in terms of Internet of Things deal activity with Intel Capital, Qualcomm Ventures and Cisco Investments taking 3 of the top 4 spots. The lone pure-play VC in the top IoT investors is True Ventures.
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