US networking giant Cisco Systems has invested an unknown amount into Melbourne-based Majitek, an Australian firm primarily created by the founding members of Sausage Software, an early Australian dotcom success.
The company, which specialises in cloud computing and service-oriented architecture solutions, today announced Cisco had participated in a $7.5 million round of equity financing, along with existing investor Pierce & Pierce.
Majitek will use the funds to further enhance its products and also to expand its international operations; Majitek will open a permanent office in Dubai and will work with Cisco facilities in Bangalore. The news comes after Majitek this week also announced it had named property industry veteran Bernie Devine as its CEO.
We've had our eye on Majitek ever since Suncorp poached Jeff Smith from its ranks. Smith was a Majitek executive director; he's now Suncorp's chief information officer and is a former CIO of Telstra.
The financial crisis has not been kind to many firms, but some cashed-up giants like Cisco are starting to pull their wallets out as they smell blood in the water. The networking giant on Monday sold $4 billion worth of debt, and I'm not surprised to see it eyeing off Australian firms as well as others for investments and acquisitions.
The only real question is if Cisco's Australian chief Les Williamson helped get this round off the ground or if it all took place in head office in San Jose.
Look out for more of this sort of activity from large players in the next six months. M&A, private equity and venture capital deals have not gone away in Australia's start-up sector; they're just becoming more opportunistic.
One last thought: is this the same Pierce & Pierce as seen in this famous scene?