Cisco has announced the launch of a $1 billion AI investment fund at its annual Cisco Live conference. This initiative is by Cisco Investments, the company’s corporate venture investment arm plans to develop secure, reliable, and trustworthy AI solutions in partnership with leading startups.

Cisco Launches $1 Billion AI Investment Fund

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The $1 billion fund will target investments in AI startups focusing on software and infrastructure solutions that align with Cisco’s mission to connect and protect the AI era.

Nearly $200 million has already been committed to startups including Cohere, Mistral AI, and Scale AI.

Headquartered in Toronto and San Francisco, Cohere specializes in security-focused large language models (LLMs) and industry-leading Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG) capabilities tailored for enterprise needs.

Based in Paris, Mistral AI develops innovative generative AI models with a focus on scientific excellence, open approach, and responsible technology use.

Located in the U.S., Scale AI provides a platform for training and validating AI applications with Cisco being the largest investor in their Series F funding round.

For over 30 years, Cisco has driven innovation through investments, partnerships, and acquisitions. The new AI fund builds on this legacy reinforcing Cisco’s position as a player in AI development and deployment.

Cisco’s investments plan to expand the AI ecosystem ensuring the development of secure, reliable, and scalable AI solutions.

Cisco integrates AI capabilities across its portfolio, enhancing cybersecurity, data management, and productivity through AI-native solutions.

In collaboration with Nvidia, Cisco unveiled the Nexus HyperFabric AI cluster. This on-premises solution combines Cisco’s AI-native networking with Nvidia’s accelerated computing and AI software, alongside Vast Data’s storage solutions.

The cluster offers centralized design, deployment, monitoring and management of AI pods and data center workloads.

Cisco introduced the Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) AI Infrastructure certification through Cisco U. This training equips network engineers with the expertise to design and implement AI infrastructure.

According to IDC (2023), the global AI market is expected to double to over $500 billion within the next three years. With investments in AI-focused acquisitions and partnerships, Cisco is well-positioned to help enterprises harness AI’s power securely and effectively on a global scale.

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Mark Patterson, Chief Strategy Officer stated, “For more than 30 years, Cisco Investments has partnered with hundreds of companies to drive innovation. Our recent investments in generative AI companies align perfectly with this long-standing strategy. At Cisco, we believe we are well-positioned to be the best strategic partner for our customers in the AI era.”

Derek Idemoto, SVP, Corporate Development and Cisco Investments said, “This $1 billion AI investment fund is a testament to our commitment to AI’s transformative power. We embrace outside technology and innovation happening globally, positioning Cisco to capture and integrate these advancements effectively.”

Cisco has already allocated $200 million of this fund to startups such as Mistral AI, Scale AI Inc., and Cohere Inc. The announcement was made at Cisco’s annual conference, Cisco Live, in Las Vegas.

Cisco has a history of investing in AI, having made over 20 AI-focused acquisitions and investments in recent years.

A company that provides security-focused large language models (LLMs) and Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG) capabilities.

Cisco unveiled new AI-powered products and services at Cisco Live 2024, enhancing its portfolio with AI-driven capabilities.

Developed in partnership with Nvidia, these clusters offer an AI infrastructure solution. New capabilities for increased visibility and reliability in networking, cloud, and SaaS environments. AI-powered features to improve firewall infrastructure and threat detection tools.

Cisco announced a collaboration with AMD and Intel to enhance security and performance in AI applications. This supports specialized chips from AMD and Intel, streamlining performance and enhancing security from cloud to edge.

Webex Contact Center, a new AI tools designed to assist customer service teams by speeding up issue resolution.

AI Assistant for Webex Suite features for enterprise users, including IT system administration and remote device management.

Desk Reservation features Within Cisco Spaces, this feature simplifies booking desk space and scheduling the use of collaboration devices.

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