Cisco Launches $1 Billion Global AI Investment Fund and AI-Powered Innovations

Author photo: Chantal Polsonetti
ByChantal Polsonetti
Company and Product News

AI is reshaping every industry and the world at an unprecedented pace, putting greater emphasis on how businesses globally interact and rely on technology. Cisco Investments, the global corporate venture investment arm of Cisco, launched a $1 Billion AI investment fund intended to bolster the startup ecosystem and expand development of secure and reliable AI solutions. As part of the new AI fund, Cisco is making strategic investments in Cohere, Mistral AI, and Scale AI, among others, to advance customers' AI readiness and complement Cisco's AI innovation strategy. Cisco has already committed nearly $200M of the $1B investment fund to date.

AI-Powered Innovations

Over the past several years, Cisco has made over 20 AI-focused acquisitions and investments, furthering GenAI and Machine Learning capabilities and integration of AI across the Cisco portfolio. These strategic investments and partnerships with world-class AI platforms across software and infrastructure build upon Cisco's holistic strategy to connect and protect the AI era. In addition to these investments, Cisco will be working with AI companies on product collaborations that allow Cisco to co-innovate, while also being an agnostic provider and platform player in AI.

The committed investments in the new AI fund include:

  • Cohere: Headquartered in Toronto and San Francisco, Cohere provides security-focused frontier large language models (LLMs) and industry-leading Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG) capabilities tailored to meet the needs of enterprises.

  • Mistral AI: Mistral AI is a global company headquartered in Paris specializing in generative artificial intelligence. The company develops new models of generative artificial intelligence for businesses, combining scientific excellence, an open approach and a responsible vision of technology.

  • Scale AI: Based in the USA, Scale AI provides a data-centric, end-to-end platform providing training and validation for AI applications. Cisco recently participated in Scale AI's Series F funding as the round's largest strategic investor.

New AI-powered Innovations

Cisco is concurrently launching AI-enriched networking, security, and observability solutions across its entire portfolio. These solutions are designed to give customers the visibility and insights necessary to connect and protect the entire digital footprint and build digital resilience.

Cisco Nexus HyperFabric AI clusters This AI cluster solution with NVIDIA features a single place to design, deploy, monitor and assure AI pods and data center workloads. It guides users from design, to validated deployment, to monitoring and assurance for enterprise-ready AI infrastructure.

Cisco Networking Cloud: New AI-native Digital Experience Assurance innovations from Cisco ThousandEyes unlock cross-domain assurance for Cisco Networking Cloud and beyond. Customers are now empowered to see and manage every enterprise, cloud, SaaS, and Internet network for exceptional digital experiences to every user, everywhere, every time.

Making AI safer with AI & Security

In an increasingly complex and hyper-distributed world, Cisco tips the balance of power in favor of the defenders with new capabilities across the Cisco Security Cloud Customers gain an AI-fortified security posture backed by market-leading firewall infrastructure, new sources of telemetry, superior network visibility, and AI-native management architecture.  Cisco announced Cisco Hypershield support for AMD Pensando DPUs and Intel IPUs, enabling enterprises to realize an AI-driven, distributed security architecture that seamlessly goes from the cloud to the data centers to the edge while still being highly performing and energy efficient.

Making AI work with AI & Observability

Cisco is leveraging its recent acquisition of Splunk with secure digital experiences powered by visibility and real-time insights that help standardize the observability practice and get customers ahead of future demands and set up for new opportunities.  Cisco has combined its new AI Assistant and the power of Splunk Log Observability with Cisco AppDynamics Application Performance Monitoring (APM) with the introduction of AppDynamics Log Observer Connect. This will enable users to unlock meaningful guidance and insights to make informed decisions faster and more accurately than ever.

Enabling AI Skills

New AI Fundamentals for Partners: Cisco is announcing the first stage of its AI partner specialization training that will equip partners with the knowledge needed to optimize infrastructure for AI workloads using Cisco technology. It will explore AI basics, including key concepts and terms, a taxonomy of AI solutions and an overview of Cisco's AI strategy, governance and use cases to master AI solution implementation in, on and through Cisco platforms.

New Cisco Certification in AI: Organizations can build an AI-ready workforce with the announcement of Cisco's new certification in designing modern AI architecture. The vendor-agnostic certification will enable employers, employees and jobseekers to gain and validate the skills needed to design modern AI/ML compute and networks now and into the future.

Further information regarding trends in Digital Transformation at the Industrial IoT Edge and industrial networking is available here

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