Cisco invests $150m in Internet of Things startups

Cisco’s venture capital arm, Cisco Investments, is ramping up its investment in Internet of Things startups to the tune of US$150 million.

Network equipment manufacturer, Cisco, has announced that its venture capital arm is boosting its investment in Internet of Things (IoT) startups around the globe by US$150 million.

The company said Cisco Investments would allocate the additional US$150 million over the next two or three years to fund early-stage companies in a bid to help drive innovation in the global startup community.

In a statement, Cisco said the new funding commitment increases its investment arm's "thematic investing" to US$250 million in total, adding to the US$100 million announced earlier this year, that it is driving into the emerging Internet of Everything (IoE) startup sector.

In March, Cisco projected that the IoE industry had the potential to grow globally to US$14.4 trillion by 2022.

According to Cisco, the new funding allocation builds on its investment arm's current US$2 billion portfolio aimed at focusing on next horizon "themes" to accelerate the development of disruptive technology markets, including big data and analytics; IoT; connected mobility; storage; silicon; the content technology ecosystem; and India innovation.

"Our ability to identify and stay ahead of market disruptions is deeply rooted in our build, buy, partner and integrate approach to innovation," said Hilton Romanski, senior vice president, Cisco Corporate Development. "We gain valuable insight and an understanding of market trends through equity investments in young and interesting companies who are leading the way through new market disruptions."

Cisco Investments also announced it had made three minority investments in IoT accelerators and startups, with Alchemist Accelerator, AylaNetworks, and Evrythng each receiving a financial boost from the company.

"Our investments in Alchemist Accelerator, Ayla Networks and Evrythng align with our focus on early-stage innovation and companies focused on the Internet of Things," said Romanski.

The announcement comes just over a month after Cisco revealed it would spend over US$1 billion entering the cloud computing market in a bid to offer corporate clients the services as its rivals.

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