Cisco Continues Investment in M2M Startups

By Mae Kowalke May 02, 2014

One of the winners of the Internet of Things is networking manufacturers, as the machine to machine (M2M) market dramatically expands the amount of communicating going on through networks.

It makes sense, then, that networking giant, Cisco, would be supporting the M2M revolution.

One way the company is developing M2M is through investments in early-stage companies focused on M2M enterprise development. Cisco Investments, its investment arm, has pledged $150 million in funding to such firms, and the latest to get Cisco backing include London-based Evrything, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based  Ayla Networks, and Bay area M2M incubator, Alchemist Accelerator.

Evrythng is a startup that focuses on identity and authentication for devices and things through a cloud platform. Through the Evrythng cloud, a company might connect a vending machine with the data derived from RFID tags on individual soft drinks within the vending machine, having the two data streams meet in the Evrythng cloud. Once in the cloud, the vending machine company can share that data among partners and generally manage it and any other data it wants to link together with that chunk of information.

Evrythng has received a total of $7.5 million in Series A funding from Cisco, Atomico, private equity investors BHLP LLC, and venture capital firm Dawn Capital in London.

Ayla Networks offers a hardware and software platform for big companies to get their products online, and has had good success recently with large Chinese firms looking to move into M2M more fully.

China is a strong potential market for M2M, where many consumers have skipped the laptop revolution and gone straight to smartphones and tablets. This has made many Chinese more receptive to the new M2M paradigm of connected devices.

Ayla has gotten $14.5 million in Series B financing from Cisco, the International Finance Corporation, Linear Venture, Chinese venture capital firm SAIF Partners, SJF Ventures. Existing investors Crosslink Capital and Voyager Capital also participated in the new funding round, which has been earmarked for continued expansion in the Chinese market.

Alchemist Accelerator is a Bay area accelerator focused on enterprise solutions and backed by, Citrix and Microsoft.

Cisco Investments currently has investments in more than 80 companies and 35 funds as part of a $2 billion overall portfolio.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

IoTevolutionworld Contributor

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