Cisco Launches $1B AI Fund to Invest in Startups, Trustworthy Solutions

Having acquired Splunk for $28 billion and invested in Scale AI and Mistral, Cisco plans to spend more on AI

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

June 6, 2024

2 Min Read
The Cisco logo suspended around twinkling lights
David Ramos/Getty Images

Cisco’s venture capital arm has launched a $1 billion AI fund to invest in “secure, reliable and trustworthy AI solutions.”

AI startups will benefit as Cisco aims to “bolster the startup ecosystem.”

The company has already committed $200 million from the fund.

"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,” said Mark Patterson, Cisco’s chief strategy officer. “Our recent investments in generative AI companies align perfectly with this long-standing strategy.”

Cisco has made more than 20 AI-related acquisitions and investments in recent years. The most notable is its $28 billion deal to buy data analytics and security provider Splunk in what will be Cisco’s largest acquisition ever when it closes later this year.

Cisco’s investment business has already invested in several AI startups including Cohere and Mixtral developer Mistral AI. Just last month, the company was the largest strategic investor in Scale AI’s $1 billion series F funding round. 

"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," said Derek Idemoto, Cisco Investment’s senior vice president for corporate development. "This fund represents our unwavering commitment to AI and innovation and to the entrepreneurs and visionaries who are defining the next wave of technology."

Related:AI News Roundup: Cisco Acquires Splunk for $28 Billion in Cash

Cisco is the latest big-name technology firm to announce plans to increase AI investments. Microsoft, Google and AWS have all made recent moves to expand investments in AI startups and infrastructure. 

Cisco’s $1 billion AI fund would be dwarfed by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund’s planned $40 billion AI war chest.

New IT Automation Tools Unveiled

The fund was announced at the company’s Live event where it also unveiled a new AI-powered monitoring solution for IT operations.

Cisco ThousandEyes Digital Experience Assurance allows customer’s IT teams to gain insights across their digital environments, both on-premise and in the cloud.

It generates recommendations for IT operations, sending them directly to the customers’ domain controllers and management systems, enabling engineers and staff to prioritize workloads. 

“A majority of outages are caused by operator error. To empower our customers to achieve digital resilience, we harness more than 650 billion daily measurements and utilize the power of AI across the global area network to go beyond human-scale operations,” said Jonathan Davidson, Cisco Networking’s executive vice president and general manager.

Related:Cisco, Nvidia Offer Alternative to Cloud Giants’ AI Infrastructure

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

Keep up with the ever-evolving AI landscape
Unlock exclusive AI content by subscribing to our newsletter!!

You May Also Like