News Release

Cisco to Make New Investments in Japan to Promote IoE Innovation

Cisco Investments Selects smart-FOA as First Company To Receive Funding
Oct 14, 2014

TOKYO, Japan. – October 14, 2014 Cisco today announced that Cisco Investments, Cisco's venture capital arm, has selected Japan as one of its investment destinations for Internet of Everything (IoE) start-ups and early-stage companies. As part of Cisco's USD $100 million Global IoT Fund, smart-FOA Co., Ltd. will be the first company in Japan to receive funding based on this initiative.

Globalization and market cycle changes are accelerating, and ideas and speed are more important in the manufacturing workplace, thus becoming vital components for corporate competitiveness. To integrate ideas and speed into the manufacturing workplace, it is necessary to promote innovation that unifies the power of the workplace with data flow and management. FOA (Flow Oriented Approach) provides an innovative information sharing platform that is useful for resolving problems and making decisions in real time by creating pieces of data (information strips) that combine raw data collected by sensors in the manufacturing workplace with workplace know-how, and letting these flow on the network.

The software allows valuable information to be accessed from anywhere and creates next-generation workplace IT that matches the concept of Fog Computing, the distributed processes at the network edge. Together, Cisco and smar-FOA plan to expand this software from Japanese manufacturing workplaces to similar manufacturing environments around the world through the joint development of solutions for the manufacturing industry based on Cisco's IOx.

Supporting Quotes

Masaharu Oku, CEO, smart-FOA Co., Ltd.:

"The utilization of data from manufacturing workplaces is Japan's strong suit, and the concept of FOA was born out of consideration for the mission of further refining this utilization. We would like to promote the Internet of Everything (IoE) concept advocated by Cisco, as well as management innovation combining a people-focused FOA workplace with management in the manufacturing sector, and through these things we would like to provide the world's first FOA from Japan."

Yasufumi Hirai, President and General Manager, Cisco Systems G.K.:

 "Cisco believes that investing in smart-FOA will contribute to increasing the capabilities of manufacturing workplaces that constitute Japan's greatest strength with the aim of realizing the Internet of Everything and generate new value by bringing together goods, people, processes and data. We expect IoT solutions from Japan to expand onto the global market."

Pratik Bose, Director, Corporate Development, Japan:

"The Japanese government is committed to transform the country into "The World's Most Advanced IT Nation" by 2020, which will help create a new economy based on IT infrastructure, presenting a tremendous opportunity for local entrepreneurs in developing new technologies and applications.  With this investment into smart-FOA, Cisco Investments restarts investment activities in Japan, with the first investment since 2001 and a new focus on supporting entrepreneurial capacity enhancement and fostering the local startup eco-system. Cisco Investments has also appointed its first dedicated investment executive in the local Tokyo office."

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. An integral part of the company's DNA lies in creating long-lasting customer partnerships, working with them to identify their needs and providing solutions that support their success. John T. Chambers is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the $48.6 billion company, which has over 73,000 employees globally. For more information about Cisco, visit

About Cisco Investments

Cisco Investments* is the venture capital investment arm of Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO). Cisco Investments, headquartered in San Jose, California, invests globally and works with entrepreneurs to discover and accelerate disruptive technologies and new business models. With more than 40 investment professionals and over 90 direct investments around the world, Cisco Investments is focused on strategic opportunities aligned with Cisco's current business as well as innovations that may shape the broader technology market in the future.

*Cisco Investments is not a separate corporate entity, but instead refers to the combined investment activities of Cisco Systems, Inc. and its subsidiaries.

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