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Do you dread your interactions with Customer Service? Are you tired of identifying yourself, your problem and all your interactions with the product or services to multiple agents? Do you wish call centers were more respectful of your time? Well, you are not alone. As both an enterprise technology investor and a leading provider of Customer Care technology, we realize that this market is at an inflection point. An organization that was historically focused on cost efficiency and customer call deflection is now going through a dramatic shift.
 
The recent data breaches at Equifax, Uber, Deloitte and Yahoo, are an indication of the ever-growing sophistication of hackers and cyberattacks. If this trend continues, breaches could be bigger, hackers smarter, and security teams more vulnerable. Prevention is better than cure Defining and implementing a robust cyber hygiene strategy is the key to preventing attacks before they even happen. Before we go further, let’s understand what cyber hygiene actually means. It is essentially a set of practices that help manage the most common and pervasive cybersecurity risks faced by organizations today.
 
In addition to meeting with our startups in the Investments Village during Cisco Live, we have over 40 thought-provoking theatre sessions scheduled throughout the four days of the event. During these sessions, the startups discuss some of the most urgent problems in their various domains and show, with real-world examples, how their technology addresses these issues. Learn How Our Startup Partners are Disrupting Technology Cohesity’s session, “Distributed Storage Tier 1 thru 4 with Cisco HyperFlex and Cohesity Hyperconverged Secondary Storage”,
 
Because Cisco Investments plays a crucial role in providing customers with the latest in innovation alongside Cisco’s robust product portfolio, we partner with the most cutting-edge startups to shape the future of technology. These companies align with our strategic areas including Security, IoT, Cloud, Data Center, and Collaboration. At this year’s Cisco Live Orlando, you can witness first-hand the technology that Cisco is betting on to make not only our customers’ and partners’
 
SD-WAN adoption is on the rise. Cisco’s Virtual Network Index (VNI) predicts SD-WAN traffic will grow at a CAGR of 44 percent through 2021, compared to five percent for traditional WAN. Meanwhile, networks continue to get more complex. Consider the EMA Research report, “Advanced Network Analytics: The Future of Network Engineering and Operations,” that found network managers spend nearly 71 percent of their time fixing problems. EMA analysts predict “this situation will only get worse as networks get more complex and enterprises adopt new solutions,
 
Retailers are increasingly combining physical brick and mortar operations with ecommerce capabilities to better address consumer demand for online purchasing. By combining data from physical and eCommerce sites, retailers can extract a variety of outputs using big data analytics that help guide leadership teams in making effective decisions. While big data is a frequently cited term these days, people often struggle to develop an understanding for what it means in practice or how it translates to measurable business value.
 
Beginnings and beyond: a snapshot of Cisco’s investments in Israel  When it comes to Cisco’s history in Israel, it’s easy to let the numbers tell the story of growth. Since setting up operations in the country 23 years ago, Cisco has directly invested in five funds and 35 startups. Of the startups Cisco invested in, 16 companies were acquired and two startups have gone through IPOs; those figures translate into exits in excess of $2 billion and an investment of $2 billion in the Israel tech ecosystem over the years.
 
Why CEOs, Sales execs and Sales professionals love Gong! Every sales professional experiences it – during the course of a conversation with a customer, she needs to decipher sentiment, understand nuances, pitch to the strengths of the product she is selling and recall every important detail mentioned. But what happens if you add further complexities into the mix – for instance, if you get called to replace or help a peer with an existing prospective customer?
 
Federal agencies have been working for several years to accelerate adoption of cloud solutions that improve user productivity and collaboration while also reducing costs. But CIOs today continue to struggle with regulatory compliance, cyberattack prevention, privacy of data, and other obstacles that can hamper and even prevent digital transformation initiatives. At CTERA, designing IT modernization solutions for federal and defense organizations is a key aspect of our business. We offer a secure and unified platform that allows organizations to meet key modernization initiatives for cloud-based user file storage,
 
Note Taking and a Walk Down Memory Lane We’re taught from an early age to take notes. I believe the first time I recall starting to take notes was when I entered junior high. In fact, I can even recall being required to take a class on how to take notes – Roman numbers, indentation, etc. The act of taking notes is one of the few activities that has stood the test of time as I continued to do this not only in junior high,
 
Breaking up is hard to do, but if it’s concerning PaaS and meeting the growing needs of enterprises and their developers, breaking up—or disaggregation—is exactly what should happen. Consider this: companies have traditionally turned to PaaS for enabling rapid development and deployment of cloud-native applications. However, the speed and simplicity of deployment came at a cost. Many of these platforms are monolithic or opinionated, meaning they have implementation restrictions. Professional developers could only develop specific types of applications with specified technology choices depending on the PaaS provider.
 
Instead of finger-pointing and blaming each other, network and data center operators can learn a lot from each other, especially as the different types of infrastructure converge and the same concerns apply to both. There is a sea change underway in the networking world. I come from the data center world, and I only know enough TCP/IP networking to be dangerous – but over the last decade or so, I have watched the the two very different worlds of the network and the data center start to move closer together.
 
CiscoLive! Melbourne 2018 marked a major milestone as this is the first time we’ve showcased our investment companies at the show. A main focus of any CiscoLive! event is bringing the latest leading edge technology to attendees including customers and partners. With CI’s focus on investing in disruptive technologies that align with our business today and in the future, CiscoLive! Is the perfect platform to showcase our investments. Our presence was a huge success! Cisco Investments hosted six portfolio companies including: Exabeam,
 
Over 600 business leaders from the corporate venturing ecosystem attended the Global Corporate Venturing and Innovation (GCVI) Summit in Monterey. Rob Salvagno, VP of Corporate Development, headlined the Keynote Interview. Below is the video and transcript from his onstage interview with GCV founder, Jim Mawson.   Jim: We’ve got a super packed day. We’re delighted to have heard from Sue Siegel, Wendell Brooks, Young Sohn and a host of others. But, from my point of view,
 
We are excited to announce our investment in Upskill, a company that provides augmented reality solutions for the industrial workforce. Upskill’s product, Skylight, provides a hardware vendor-agnostic software platform and out-of-the-box capabilities to create and deploy custom AR applications rapidly across a company’s entire operations. Over the last 20 years, Cisco Investments has invested in hundreds of companies across different segments. We see tremendous opportunity for AR to improve worker productivity and efficiency in an industry feeling the pressure of rising manufacturing costs.
 
The most difficult task for Enterprise security start-ups isn’t hacking security firewalls—it’s breaking business barriers. Enterprises have the largest stake in security since they have the most vulnerable data to protect: banks, hospitals, and insurance companies, to name a few. These organizations tend to have strict security and compliance policies, such as PCI-DSS. It requires a big leap of faith for Enterprise customers to rely on small security start-ups with their mission-critical data and infrastructure.
 
What does Employee Communication and Engagement mean to you? Today, enterprises use a combination of paper bulletin boards and legacy tools including email and intranet. It’s safe to say that the content produced for the aforementioned channels are typically static, outdated, rarely updated, and untargeted. In an era where most knowledge workers spend a significant part of their time on their mobile phones often accessing external news and social media, relevant corporate communication should also be accessible via our mobile phones.
 
At Cisco Investments, we take pride in the fact that we can position our startups in high-quality events with some of our leading customers. Let me emphasize “high-quality” again. We believe that simply giving access to a customer is not enough to position a company for success. Impactful interactions mean that a customer is engaged, they actively participate in conversation with the companies they meet with, and they leave the meeting with a clear plan for next steps.
 
What’s your technology superpower? Whether you are a code crusader, a collaboration kingpin, a champion of cloud, or a security sleuth, innovation is a crucial element of every technology superhero’s power. Cisco Live Melbourne promises a mix of exhibitions, lectures, and over 300 available sessions about hot topics across cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, IoT and more. To strengthen your innovation powers, you don’t want to miss a visit to the Innovation and Investment Pavilion to discover the newest,
 
Riding in a plane is significantly safer per mile than traveling by road. For the majority of people, driving or being a passenger in a motor vehicle is the most dangerous action they will perform in a day. Fatalities caused by aviation have steadily declined since the 1960s, but road safety has remained almost steady and significantly worse than other modes of transportation. Can we make motor vehicle safety as safe as riding an airplane?
 
Ayla Networks, a global IoT platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provider, enables the world’s largest companies to connect and ingest data from nearly any sensor, system and cloud, announces its inaugural IoT conference, April 10 – 11 in San Francisco. The 2-day event will be centered around important themes in the IoT, such as: Key steps to consider when starting a connected product initiative Opportunities for venturing into new lines of business and massive revenue re-organization Business transformation and ROI Industry expertise and trends Getting a product to a 5-Star rating Speakers include: Bruce Sinclair of IoT-Inc.com @Bruce_Sinclair Bruce is the publisher of www.iot-inc.com and advises brands,
 
Deception technology has garnered a lot of attention in the past couple years as an important cyber innovation, but exactly what is it, and is it practical?  As we’ll see, deception is not only practical – it is a strategic cornerstone to deal with the “advanced” or “persistent” types of cyberattacks in which attackers use sophisticated techniques to get past traditional security controls and monitoring. Deception – a long tradition Back in 216 B.C.
 
In today’s Outcome Economy, it’s not just about selling a great product, but selling one that impacts the end customer the right way. Organizations are increasingly placing a premium on delivering positive outcomes across all functions, and driving a financial outcome from every single function and action they take. That includes customer experience. In fact, CX is rapidly making its way to the top of the priority list in many organizations, but the question still remains –
 
More money, less deals In 2017, the hyperactive Israeli startup ecosystem raised 13% more total capital than 2016 — $4.72 billion in total — but saw 9% fewer investment rounds. This translated to a higher average deal size. Further analysis reveals that a major contributing factor is the increase in growth-stage funding, attributed to the emergence of late-stage funds and the abundance of mega-rounds, such as $400 million raised by home design company Houzz,
 
Billed as the must-attend Cisco global event series, the Barcelona edition will kick off the year featuring a mix of exhibitions, lectures, and over 700 available sessions about hot topics across cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, IoT and more. At the Investments Village, eleven of our portfolio companies from around the globe will be showcasing their leading-edge technology in Data Center, Cloud, Security, IoT, and Collaboration. It’s Time to Address Your Pain Points Today’s pain points are chinks in the armor that make an organization vulnerable to disruptive forces in your industry.
 
At Cisco Live Barcelona, you’ll likely feel like a kid in a candy shop, exhilarated by all the delicious options. Let Cisco Investments’ Portfolio Companies tempt you with our fantastic lineup of theatre sessions. Here are the top five reasons to join the sessions, network with tech luminaries, and learn about the biggest trends that Cisco is betting on. Amazing Thought Leaders You won’t want to miss hearing from Stratoscale‘s CEO Ariel Maislos;
 
You might not always think of the network as a source of implicit funding, but when it comes to digital transformation projects, consider taking a closer look. It’s no surprise that digital transformation remains top of mind for CEOs. As a recent Gartner CEO survey reported, 42 percent of CEOs are now taking a digital-first approach to business change, or taking digital to the core of their enterprise model. According to the survey,
 
After a period of healthy skepticism due to quite the hype cycle, many recruiting teams and talent acquisition leaders have now rightfully embraced AI. As the applications become more familiar and the benefits more tangible, enterprises are increasingly seeking “smart” solutions. Ascendify is a big believer in the power of machine learning and predictive analytics for talent acquisition and management — we built a smart, end-to-end platform upon it —
 
2017 was the year in which it became obvious and undeniable that software has already eaten huge chunks of the world. This realisation means that to be competitive, it is no longer sufficient simply to add some software; instead, every single part of the organisation must be augmented through software. At the recent “Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations Management & Data Center Summit”, Dave Cappuccio said, “If you create a five-year plan,
 
Cisco isn’t only the worldwide leader in IT and networking. It also happens to be one of the most unique strategic investors in the startup world. Starting in 1993, Cisco Investments has actively scoured the globe to invest in emerging technologies and innovative companies likely to shape the technology landscape. Some of those investments have later turned into Cisco acquisitions while others went onto thrive independently. Today, Cisco boasts a current portfolio of more than 120 active investments in promising startups,
 
By Daniel Karp Navigating the complexities of strategic investments can be both beneficial and challenging for startups and strategic investors. According to CBInsights and others, strategic investors are becoming an increasingly important stakeholder in the venture ecosystem, and can provide multiple benefits to portfolio companies. However, concerns may arise from customers and partners about the relationship between the strategic investor and the portfolio company. At Cisco Investments, we have dealt with these complexities in the past,
 
Drones have had a very eventful 2017. Drones not only gained widespread commercial traction this year but came in the public spotlight during the devastating Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. For the first time, video from drones was widely shown to provide real time coverage of these natural disasters. Drones were also used by insurance companies to assess damages. Overnight, drones became a mainstream technology. Kespry led the charge from the front! Based in Menlo Park,
 
By Ryan Petranovich We are pleased to announce our investment in Pixvana, a rapidly growing augmented reality / virtual reality (AR/VR) technology startup that provides VR content platforms and creators with the tools they need to create and deliver high-quality next-gen video experiences. Cisco Investments has funded hundreds of companies across different technology segments over the last twenty years. Although it is early for AR/VR, we believe AR/VR technologies will revolutionize multiple technologies that are core to Cisco,
 
By Hitesh Saijpal The corporate venture capital space has continued to become more and more competitive over the last few years. For this reason, it is important that the investments arm of any large organization differentiates itself from its peers/competitors. Cisco Investments is no exception, and our team have been working hard to make sure our portfolio companies get the benefits that only Cisco can bring. Specifically around go-to-market activities, three of the key benefits that Cisco Investments bring to the table are: Access and warm introductions to global partner organizations Direct access to major global customers Access to our global sales force But how do we unlock this value?
 
By Pratima Aiyagari In Part 3 of our Artificial Intelligence series, I’ll share how we at Cisco view Artificial Intelligence and how it is going to impact our business. The next generation of applications, product categories, and services that we offer will be enabled by AI. Here are a seven practical examples where we are incorporating AI in our products and services: Contact Center – the next generation of customer care products will be enabled by AI-enabled Bots to automate repetitive tasks and provide a user interface that is more “natural”
 
By PRNewsire Elastifile, the enterprise hybrid cloud data management company, today announced that it has closed a $16 million funding round, led by Western Digital Capital, the strategic investment fund of Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC). With this investment from a group of existing and new investors, the total backing raised by Elastifile is over $65 million. Elastifile’s unique cross-cloud data fabric offering is growing quickly with over 40 customers.
 
Machine learning and deep learning can be powerful toolkits for enterprise CIOs – but how can you tell which framework is best for your business? The prospect of deep learning doing all the heavy lifting when it comes to building a prediction model sounds very exciting. However, it poses significant challenges when it comes to organizational problem solving due to the following reasons. 1. Data hunger: Deep Learning often requires millions of examples to train and achieve acceptable accuracy.
 
By Ankur Saxena How smart are you when it comes to the nuances of Artificial Intelligence (AI)? When you read about the future of AI, it can seem like there are a lot of buzzwords being thrown around in the media. Differentiating among AI, machine learning and deep learning technologies can be confusing, especially when terms are being used interchangeably. Let’s begin by clearing things up with a few definitions. First,
 
By Tomer Goldberg We are excited to announce our investment in Prospera Technologies, a leader in digital farming who enables agro-businesses to turn their farms into fully digital plants, with tighter control, higher productivity, and more predictable output. Over the last 20 years, Cisco Investments has invested in hundreds of companies across different segments. We continue to invest in new technologies because we see investments as a key part of our innovation strategy and a way to support companies with disruptive technology and business models.
 
By Erin Griffin at Fortune Cisco is an acquisition machine, having done nearly 200 deals in its history. The company’s last minute acquisition of AppDynamics in January is arguably the most exciting deal of 2017. On Monday, the company announced its second deal of the year, paying $610 million acquisition of Viptela, a cloud-based SD-WAN company based in San Jose. (Fortune’s Jonathan Vanian has more about that deal here.) Over two interviews,
 
A few years ago, Tarun Thakur and Prasenjit Sarkar noticed a transformative shift changing the face of the IT industry. They saw the way applications were influencing the IT stack, realizing that next-generation applications – like analytics, IoT and ecommerce – were being born directly in the cloud. And they discovered that the majority of organizations they met with were interested in migrating their traditional, classically structured applications over to the cloud,
 
If the term “Multiscreen as a Service™ (MaaS)” doesn’t resonate with you now, it will once you meet the insightful and forward-thinking minds behind Phunware, a Cisco Investments portfolio company. Founded in 2009 and dubbed the “pioneer” of MaaS, Phunware’s products act as the software component of Digital Transformation, enabling high-value touchpoints between brands and end users—supported by Cisco infrastructure, hardware and bandwidth. Phunware makes this possible thanks to an approach called mobile application lifecycle management,
 
To say that the mobility landscape has changed in recent years is an understatement. And as an investor with Cisco Investments, Matt Carbonara has an enviable perspective – and position – on spotting what’s new and next in the industry and welcoming new mobility-centered startups into the Cisco Investments Portfolio. Matt and his colleagues are responsible for Cisco’s investments and acquisitions in the mobility market, from the beginning where startups are vetted for their potential to the conclusion of the process where startups gain investment from Cisco and collaborating with Cisco.
 
With a team of “white hat hackers, multilingual maestros, and intel geeks” speaking more than 15 languages, it’s no wonder that Cisco Investments portfolio company Flashpoint’s cyber security efforts in the “deep, dark” web is coming to light. Founded in 2010, Flashpoint leverages a suite of analytical tools and data to derive data their clients use to make more business-informed decisions. While this could describe almost any cyber-security company in the market,
 
The “deep and dark web” is not an area average Internet users finds themselves surfing. But for Cisco Investments Deal Manager Prasad Parthasarathi, working with one of their portfolio companies with a presence in this nefarious corner of the cyber world enables him to protect client business interests and help skyrocket the portfolio company’s profile. 100,000 Foot View As part of the Cisco Investments team focused on cyber security,
 
Cisco Live Las Vegas is June 25-29 Thousands of technology innovators are poised to converge in Las Vegas for CiscoLive! – a week of training, education, inspiration, and human connection to help you thrive in the innovative new world of digital business. CiscoLive! features today’s visionary IT thought leaders and comes packed with more than 1,000 education sessions and hundreds of our top partners. More than 28,000 attendees from around the world representing many disciplines and industries are expected to attend Key features of CiscoLive!
 
The end of a government contract was the catalyst for an entirely new business beginning for LiveAction, one of Cisco Investments’ most prolific investment portfolio companies. LiveAction’s technology and solutions center around developing IT visibility solutions designed to simplify network management. “Our software manages routers, switches, firewalls and other network elements. We visualize these on a map from a Global View to a Branch View, all the way down to a Device View,”
 
Five years ago, Scott MacDonald and Whitney Rockley, the founders of McRock Capital, a venture capital firm focused on developing start-ups in Industrial Internet of Things, realized that in order to make the right investments and empower their companies, they needed to establish an eco-system of large industrial corporates and the start-ups who could transform their businesses. In 2012, they started with a simple meeting in a conference room, and have now progressed into a full-blown show,
 
By Alex Konrad at Forbes Why would Cisco and NetApp join forces to invest millions into a young startup in the data management space called Datos IO? The answer lies in the cloud — and the two public tech companies racing to catch up to customers who want a mix of on-premise and cloud-based architectures. Datos IO is just three years old, with a data recovery product on the market since last June. But it’s already scored some major customers in tech,
 
By Alex Konrad at Forbes The next time Gainsight raises money from investors, it will likely be as the first billion-dollar startup in customer success. That looming distinction was set up on Tuesday when the company announced triple-digit growth, key new hires and a new $52 million investment that puts the company in knocking distance of unicorn status the next time it dips into investor pockets. CEO Nick Mehta announced the news at the company’s annual customer event in Oakland,
 
CiscoLive! enables customers, executives, and partners to share insights on emerging technologies and their potential to transform the future. There is no better venue for Cisco Investments (CI) to showcase how we are leveraging our investment capital than at CiscoLive!. However, we don’t use CiscoLive! just to show off the cool companies we invest in, we leverage the event to increase their exposure and make critical connections both inside and outside Cisco. Nowhere was the above statement more evident than at CiscoLive!
 
Author: Tomer Goldberg and Walter Hu As one of the most active investors in corporate venture capital, Cisco Investments maintains partnerships with aggressive and forward thinking VCs to broaden our view of technology and tap into markets and geographies we can’t normally reach. We helped to organize a start-up / entrepreneur pitch day event titled “Calling All Entrepreneurs” with Bull City Venture Partners (BCVP), in Durham, North Carolina.
 
Author: Hitesh Saijpal Back in November 2016, we had the opportunity to introduce three emerging portfolio companies to the senior leadership of Dimension Data at Cisco Partner Summit. These three companies were Flashpoint and Verodin, two security startups, and Helpshift, a mobile customer support startup. That meeting was about raising awareness, but by the end of the afternoon, we had shared ideas for integrating solutions and collaborating on various joint customer opportunities. The success of that first meeting led to the potential solution integration of Helpshift with contact center solutions,
 
For Startups in 2017 “Travel more” is always at the top of anyone’s wish list. And for startup leaders who need to combine a bit of work with their play, determining which networking events to attend is an essential step to increase their brand exposure and meet the industry movers and shakers who can help them do it. There are hundreds of global networking events for startup leaders to choose from.
 
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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