Cisco Announces Venture Capital Initiative in Central and Eastern Europe
'3TS-Cisco Growth Fund III' to Support Technology and Communications Start-Ups
SAN JOSE, Calif., November 12, 2007 - Cisco® today announced a venture capital initiative targeting the technology industry in Central and Eastern Europe 1 . Cisco will pursue investment opportunities in technology-related start-ups in the region, both directly as well as indirectly through a regional venture fund.
In collaboration with 3TS Capital Partners, Cisco is making the anchor investment in the Technology in Central and Eastern Europe S.C.A. SICAR fund (to be informally called '3TS-Cisco Growth Fund III'), which will initially close at 30 million euros. 3TS Capital Partners, one of the leading private equity and venture capital firms in Central and Eastern Europe, will seek and manage the fund's investments. The target companies for the fund primarily include high-growth small and medium-sized companies in the technology, media, and telecommunications sectors.
"Cisco helps drive entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe through initiatives such as the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute, as well as through project financing, leasing programs and, most recently, the venture fund partnership being announced today. New businesses are a key driver of growth in emerging economies and of jobs in local communities," said Kaan Terzioglu, Cisco's vice president for Central and Eastern Europe. "Countries in the region innovate across a broad range of technologies, including broadband, wireless, security, and communications technologies. They also lead in the adoption of VoIP applications, multimedia and gaming, mobile content, and entertainment delivery. The opportunities in the region are therefore immense."
To date, Cisco has deployed more than $2 billion in venture capital investments and has been an active equity investor in major markets such as China, India, Israel and Europe, in addition to the United States. Through a combination of direct and indirect funding vehicles, Cisco is a strategic investor in start-ups and venture funds around the world and focuses on finding and investing in companies that have innovative technologies and business models. Cisco has appointed Yoav Samet, head of Israel and Emerging Europe Corporate Business Development, to lead this important investment initiative.
"Investing in geographically focused venture funds like the 3TS-Cisco Growth Fund is another strategic tool in our global investment portfolio that fuels ICT market growth through investment in the innovation economy," said Hilton Romanski, senior director of Global Corporate Business Development for Cisco. "This strategy will help catalyze and accelerate tech innovation in Central and Eastern Europe and take technology investment in the region to the next level."
1 Including, but not limited to: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Ukraine and Turkey.
About the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute
The Cisco Entrepreneur Institute is building on Cisco's 10-year history in education with the Cisco Networking Academy®. While networking academies are providing technology skills, the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute is focusing on entrepreneurial skills. The objective of the institute is to teach local entrepreneurs the skills needed for running a small or medium-sized business (SMB) successfully. The curriculum, based on Cisco's iExecutive Education Program (iExec), as well as My Own Business, an educational program developed in the United States and endorsed by the World Bank, includes strategic and business planning, financing, the development of venture capital relationships, and the use of information and communications technology (ICT) to achieve better business results. Cisco is rolling out Cisco Entrepreneur Institutes across Central and Eastern Europe, in cooperation with leading educational institutes operating in the individual countries.
About Cisco Systems
Cisco, (NASDAQ: CSCO), is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com. Cisco equipment in Europe is supplied by Cisco Systems International BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc.
About 3TS Capital Partners
3TS Capital Partners (www.3tscapital.com) is one of the leading private equity and venture capital firms in Central and Eastern Europe operating in the whole region through offices in Budapest, Bucharest, Prague, Vienna and Warsaw. 3TS is the exclusive adviser of funds totaling € 200 million targeting investments in growth sectors including Technology & Telecoms, Media & Marketing, Services and Environment & Energy. Investors in the Funds include 3i, Cisco, EBRD, KfW and Sitra among others.
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