Cisco launches $1bn fund for AI startups 


Cisco has made over 20 AI-focused investments and acquisitions in the last several years 

Cisco has announced that it has launched a $1 billion fund to invest in AI startups in a push to become more dominant in the AI sphere. 

At the company’s “Cisco Live” event in Las Vegas, CEO Chuck Robbins said that despite a billion-dollar investment being considered small in the AI world, “part of our investment thesis is that there are unique co-development activities that we can enter into with [startups] to bring you more innovative solutions and help you navigate the AI transition.”  

The firm also say that the investment aligns with the company strategy “to connect and protect the AI era.” 

According to the press release, related investments in more established AI companies have already begun, with almost $200 having been invested in companies including: 

– Mistral AI, which specialises in generative artificial intelligence 

– Scale AI, which provides end-to-end platform providing training and validation for AI applications 

– Cohere, which provides security-focused frontier large language models (LLMs) for businesses 

“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,” said Mark Patterson, Cisco’s Chief Strategy Officer. 

“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,” he continued. 

The company are not just investing in startups, but partnering with larger firms too. Again at the “Cisco Live” event in Las Vegas, the two companies announced an AI cluster solution the data center that “transforms how customers build, manage and optimize infrastructure and software.” 

The companies say that it is designed so that customers can focus on AI innivationsinnovations and new revenue streams instead of IT management. 

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