New Delhi: Networking major Cisco Inc. has invested in IDG Ventures India Advisors’ third fund, which closed commitments of $208 million last year.
Cisco’s entry as a limited partner in IDG’a third fund will help IDG portfolio companies in enterprise software get access to a potential customer as well as a potential investor and acquirer, IDG Ventures chairman Sudhir Sethi said in an interview.
The investment is from Cisco Investments, the corporate venture arm of the US-based firm, and comes a month after the firm invested in Stellaris Ventures Partners. Set up in 2016, Stellaris is investing from a $50-million fund.
“Cisco has a rich history of participating in India’s technology ecosystem and investing directly in local innovation over the past decade. Today, we are pleased to further our commitment to the country’s ongoing digital transformation by collaborating with IDG Ventures India, one of the premier institutional venture investors in the country," Rob Salvagno, vice-president and the head of Cisco Investments said in statement.
Cisco, which also operates an accelerator program in India for early stage companies, is an investor in digital wallet MobiKwik and enterprise technology firm Covacsis, among others, and in 2016 acquired IT security firm Pawaa Software Pvt Ltd.
International Finance Corp, the private sector investment arm of World Bank, is employing a similar strategy, Mint reported in August 2017. Incidentally, IFC is also an investor in IDG Ventures and Stellaris and made commitments worth $33 million to three VC firms including Pi Ventures till June last year.
For IDG Ventures, Cisco joining as a limited partner will make the fund more attractive to entrepreneurs.
“The investee companies of IDG Ventures India funds will greatly benefit through this association," Sethi said.
“Cisco is a renowned leader in the world of technology. IDG Ventures India is deeply entrenched in the high-tech ecosystem in India and combined with a solid portfolio of investments, is geared up to create value for Cisco," he added.
Cisco is already both a customer and shareholder of Cloudcherry, an IDG-backed enterprise software start-up.
Counted among the top institutional investors in India, IDG Ventures has a portfolio that spans over 70 start-ups primarily in consumer focused firms in the area of media, software, health and financial sectors. The firm will continue to back deep-tech start-ups in these areas, it said.
IDG started out in 2006 and has seen several exits from its portfolio firms. It was an early investor in Myntra, which was sold to Flipkart in 2014, Yatra.com which got listed on Nasdaq in 2016, and Newgen Software, which also went public as recently as last month.