Cisco Announces Massive Investments in Russia

Cisco Systems will invest $1 billion in technology development in Russia over the next decade. The company said that Cisco CEO John Chambers met with Russia president Dmitry Medvedev to go over "collaborative initiatives." Russia is one of the hotter markets that technology companies drool over. Most big tech companies are heavily focused on so-called BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China). In a blog post, Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior said the networking company is aiming to replicate its Russia venture in other emerging markets. With Cisco's investment, the company is aiming to "drive entrepreneurship and sustainable innovation." The $1 billion investment will be delivered in stages. Among the key parts outlined in a statement:
  • Cisco will aim to support Russia's venture capital community and offer an incremental $100 million and "a deepening of its collaborative model with Almaz Capital Partners." Cisco provided a $30 million anchor investment into the Almaz Russia Fund 1. Cisco will also increase the number of Cisco Networking Academies in Russia to 300.
  • The networking giant will build a facility in Skolkovo, a city that will aim to develop sustainable social, economic and environmental practices.
  • Cisco will build R&D capability in Russia. Cisco will create a second headquarters for the emerging technologies group and relocate engineering talent in Skolkovo. Cisco will also start up internal ventures in Russia.
  • The company will collaborate on business models and create start-ups with Russian VCs.
  • And finally, Cisco will create a model to collaborate with Russian business in verticals such as smart grids, financial services, broadband and exports.

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