Cisco to invest $150m in Internet of Everything start-ups

IT giant has committed $1bn to "accelerate" UK's digital economic growth by 2020, with backing from David Cameron and Sajid Javid

Cisco is to invest $150m venture capital in UK Internet of Everything (IoE) start-ups, as part of a $1bn commitment to drive growth of Britain’s digital economy.

Announced today following a meeting at 10 Downing Street which involved David Cameron, Cisco UK CEO Phil Smith, Cisco CEO John Chambers and business secretary Sajid Javid, the pledge will see the total $1bn investment phased out across the next three to five years in areas such as digital education, STEM skills initiatives and new acquisitions.

The commitment of $150m for IoE; an extension of Internet of Things (IoT), will cover early-stage businesses operating across financial technology, retail, healthcare, and smart city development, with venture capital investment to also be made available for cybersecurity solutions.

On the back of chancellor George Osborne’s Budget proposal to give ‘power to the Northern Powerhouse‘, Cisco has also said that the $1bn funding will go towards redressing the UK’s North-South “economic imbalance” and will back new innovation centres, university partnerships and expansion of its apprenticeship programme.

The investment is said to form part of the IT firm’s global ‘country digitisation programme’ and coincides with the news that it will be creating 250 new jobs for its central London office by the end of 2015.

Cisco’s John Chambers said of the news:

“We believe the UK is well on its way to becoming one of the top digitised countries in the world, and we’re proud to once again activate new programmes and continue our deep commitment to partnering with the UK government. Since 2011 we have delivered over and above on every objective we set with government in our prior commitments – encouraging technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

“Today, we are pleased to make our next series of strategic commitments, totaling over $bn, to support the next phase of the UK’s digitisation plans.”

The prime minister added:

“This massive investment from Cisco is great news for the UK’s growing digital economy and is a clear vote of confidence in our long term economic plan. It will create jobs and growth across the country, providing security for hard working people.”

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