Cisco is further enhancing its presence in Israel. Bryan Palma, Senior Vice President of Security Services at Cisco Systems announced this week that his company will invest tens of millions of dollars in Israeli venture capital fund JVP. JVP's cyber security fund is expected to raise a total of $120 million within the next few months.
“Israel is very important to Cisco. Cisco CEO, John Chambers, is personally committed to making Israel the first digital country. We are working closely with the government and we are very excited about the work we are doing across education and health and cyber. Specifically in the cyber area, which is the area I am responsible for. There are a couple of important things we are doing here in Israel. The first one is we are hiring security consultants to be part of our team because we know there is great talent. Second, we are working with the government and start-ups to create a cyber-lab that will help advance the profession of cyber security. The final one really is our strategic investment that we have made with JVP. We think it is important to continue to invest here in Israel and we will continue to do that in cyber and really to make Israel become the first digital nation,” said Palma.
The fund in which Cisco is set to invest is JVP's seventh, according to the fund's filings with the SEC from two months ago, signed by JVP's general partners, Gadi Tirosh and Kobi Rosengarten. JVP said the new fund will invest in its core activities: digital media, cyber security and storage technologies.
According to JVP, "since the fund was founded in 1993 by MK Erel Margalit (Labor Party), JVP has invested approximately a billion dollars is about 100 companies, and has led 26 significant exits". The new fund will increase the capital managed by JVP to over a billion dollars. JVP also owns two technological incubators, which invest in early stage companies – JVP Media Labs, managed by Haim Kopans and Uri Adoni, and JVP Cyber Labs in Beer Sheba, led by Yoav Tzruya and Dr. Nimrod Kozlovski.
Cisco is one of the most active multinational tech companies in Israel. The company, which develops equipment for IP-based networks for large organizations and telecoms, has a large R&D center in Netanya. It also owns NDS, which it acquired in early 2012 for $5 billion. Cisco is the main supplier for IBC, the Israel Electric Company's communications initiative. Cisco has granted the initiative credit of over $140 million, about 10% of the initial investment. Last November, Cisco won a huge tender of the Ministry of Defense to upgrade the IDF's IP network for over $150 million.
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