Cisco announces $1B global AI investment fund: All you need to know

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Cisco Investments, the global corporate venture investment arm of Cisco on Tuesday, June 4, announced the launch of a $1B AI investment fund to bolster the startup ecosystem and expand the development of secure and reliable AI solutions.

As part of the new AI fund, Cisco is making strategic investments in Cohere, Mistral AI, and Scale AI, among others, to advance customers’ AI readiness and complement Cisco’s AI innovation strategy.

Cisco has already committed nearly $200M of the $1B investment fund to date. They are in

  • Cohere provides security-focused frontier large language models (LLMs) and industry-leading Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG) capabilities tailored to enterprises’ needs.
  • Mistral AI is a global company specialising in generative artificial intelligence. The company develops new models of generative artificial intelligence for businesses, combining scientific excellence, an open approach, and a responsible vision of technology.
  • Scale AI provides a data-centric, end-to-end platform providing training and validation for AI applications. Cisco recently participated in Scale AI’s Series F funding as the round’s largest strategic investor.

“For more than 30 years, Cisco Investments has invested and partnered with hundreds of companies to drive innovation both within Cisco’s core markets and in new strategic areas. Our recent investments in generative AI companies align perfectly with this long-standing strategy,” said Mark Patterson, Chief Strategy Officer, Cisco.

“At Cisco, we believe we are well positioned to be the best strategic partner for our customers in the AI era as they look to build, secure, and power AI. In addition to building essential technology to connect, secure, and advance AI, Cisco is committed to investing in the broader AI ecosystem to more effectively meet our customers’ needs,” adds Patterson.

Aims to be an impartial provider and platform player in AI

In recent years, Cisco has acquired and invested in over 20 AI-related companies, enhancing its GenAI and Machine Learning capabilities and integrating AI across its product portfolio.

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Alongside these investments, Cisco plans to collaborate with AI companies on product development to facilitate co-innovation.

Additionally, Cisco aims to remain an impartial provider and platform player in AI, offering options and support for its global customer base.

“The establishment of our $1 billion AI investment fund is a testament to our commitment to the transformative power of artificial intelligence and its potential to redefine industries globally,” says Derek Idemoto, SVP, of Corporate Development and Cisco Investments.

“This fund represents our unwavering commitment to AI and innovation, and to the entrepreneurs and visionaries who are defining the next wave of technology,” adds Idemoto. 

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Vigneshwar Ravichandran

Vigneshwar has been a News Reporter at Silicon Canals since 2018. A seasoned technology journalist with almost a decade of experience, he covers the European startup ecosystem, from AI and Web3 to clean energy and health tech. Previously, he was a content producer and consumer product reviewer for leading Indian digital media, including NDTV, GizBot, and FoneArena. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Electronics and Instrumentation in Chennai and a Diploma in Broadcasting Journalism in New Delhi.

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