Cisco to invest venture capital in Indian start-ups

By siliconindia staff writer   |   Tuesday, 21 September 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: In a bid to promote innovation in data networking and to gain an early knowledge of the emerging market and technology trends in the Indian market, Cisco Systems is planning to invest venture capital in start-ups here.

Cisco's venture capital practice started its Indian operations recently and is aggressively eyeing investment opportunities in the networking and related technology segments relevant to Cisco's business, said the company's manager for corporate business development, Mr Sameet Mehta.

"We are looking at making minority investments in high growth areas," he said adding the company was scouting for opportunities to invest in semiconductor, software and systems companies focussed on developing products in areas of wireless and broadband technologies, security, IP telephony, storage and optical networking among others.

The idea is to have first-hand experience in technology and products developed by Indian firms.

"We are in talks with a few firms," Mr Mehta said declining to comment on the corpus that Cisco has earmarked to invest in Indian start-ups.

"We are also looking at funding technology development that is complementary to Cisco's current business and which the company's doesn't intend to develop internally," he said. Mr S. Devarajan, Managing Director, Cisco Systems India Pvt Ltd, said the company was looking to invest in technologies that spur fundamental innovation in data networking.

Apart from start-ups, Cisco is also open to investing in older private firms, Mr Mehta said. The company, however, has not set any targets or timeline for investments.

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