IoT startup boost: Cisco pumps in US$10mil into Monk’s Hill
By Digital News Asia September 9, 2015
- Focused on early stage tech startups driving IoE, disruptive tech in Asean
- Cisco Investments currently has an active portfolio of US$2bil
CISCO Systems Inc’s investment arm Cisco Investments has announced a US$10-million investment into Singapore’s Monk’s Hill Ventures’ innovation fund for startups.
This fund will focus on early-stage startups working on the cloud, the Internet of Everything (IoE), big data and analytics, mobility and enterprise applications in Asean, Cisco said in a statement.
Cisco defines the IoE as the next step of the Internet of Everything (IoE): The IoT focuses on things (smart, connected devices), while the IoE adds people, processes and data to that.
Monk's Hill Ventures has two primary areas of focus for investing in high-growth technology companies: First, on early stage, Series A and B, technology startups operating across South-East Asia; and second, on technology companies from around the world that want to expand into the region.
Cisco, in addition to providing funding, will also explore ways of sharing technology and go-to-market expertise with invested companies in the region.
This investment is aligned to Cisco Investments’ strategy to fuel innovation, by investing in venture capital funds that support the transformation of local economies and industries, the company said in its statement.
“Cisco has a long history of working with governments and organisations in Asean to promote innovation and economic development, and we know that the Internet is the platform that enables the delivery of new applications and solutions,” said Saleh M. Munshi (pic), president of Asean at Cisco.
“Our investment with Monk’s Hill Ventures reinforces Cisco’s strategy for supporting disruptive innovation, and I’m excited by the opportunities it creates for connecting communities, people, processes, data and things in Asean.
“Asean continues to be one of the most diverse, fast-moving, and competitive regions in the world with countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
“In addition to attracting multinationals, Asean has become a launching pad for new companies; the region now accounts for 38% of Asia’s market for initial public offerings (IPOs),” he added.
The partners of Monk’s Hill Ventures bring strong networks across Asia and the United States, to help entrepreneurs with further fundraising, landing key enterprise customers, recruiting top talent, and expanding internationally, Cisco said in its statement.
The firm has offices in both Singapore and Jakarta, and the investment team travels widely within the South-East Asia region to meet promising companies, it added.
“The concept of the fund is simple: Entrepreneurs backing entrepreneurs,” said Monk’s Hill Ventures managing director Kuo-Yi Lim (pic).
“We are bringing an incredible wealth of experience and best practices to Asean, and our goal is not to just invest in companies but build the overall startup ecosystem to help accelerate growth across the region.
“We’re committed to driving this in Asean with Cisco and our other partners, as we promote innovation and economic development together,” he added.
Cisco Investments has more than 40 investment professionals with market and technology expertise located in major geographies, including the United States, Canada, China, India, Israel, and Europe, according to Cisco.
Over the last 20 years, it has invested in hundreds of companies across different segments and helped them to build successful IPOs or acquisitions, it claimed.
Cisco Investments currently has an active portfolio of US$2 billion with nearly 100 direct investments around the world, and also holds Limited Partner positions in over 35 funds globally.
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