Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) Investments announced a US $10 million investment into Monk’s Hill Ventures’ innovation fund for start-up companies. This fund aims to drive innovation and technology disruptions across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by supporting early stage start-ups in companies that have solutions focused on Cloud, the Internet of Everything (IoE), Big Data and Analytics, Mobility and Enterprise applications.

Monk’s Hill Ventures has two primary areas of focus for investing in high-growth technology companies: first, on early stage, Series A and B, technology start-ups operating across Southeast Asia and second, on technology companies from around the world that want to expand into Southeast Asia.

Cisco, in addition to providing funding, will also explore ways of sharing technology and go-to-market expertise with invested companies in the region. This investment is aligned to Cisco Investments’ strategy to fuel innovation, by investing in venture capital funds that support the transformation of local economies and industries.

“Cisco has a long history of working with governments and organisations in ASEAN to promote innovation and economic development, and we know that the Internet is the platform that enables the delivery of new applications and solutions,” said Saleh M. Haji Munshi, President, ASEAN at Cisco.

“Our investment with Monk’s Hill Ventures reinforces Cisco’s strategy for supporting disruptive innovation, and I’m excited by the opportunities it creates for connecting communities, people, processes, data and things in ASEAN.ASEAN continues to be one of the most diverse, fast-moving, and competitive regions in the world with countries likeIndonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. In addition to attracting multinationals, ASEAN has become a launching pad for new companies; the region now accounts for 38 percent of Asia’s market for initial public offerings,” he added.

The partners of Monk’s Hill Ventures have built numerous Silicon Valley and Asian VC-backed companies over the past two decades, with operating experience in all of the major countries across Asia — from China and Japan to India andIndonesia. They also bring strong networks across Asia and the US, to help entrepreneurs with further fundraising, landing key enterprise customers, recruiting top talent, and expanding internationally. The firm has offices in bothSingapore and Jakarta, and the investment team travels widely within the Southeast Asia region to meet promising companies.

“The concept of the fund is simple: entrepreneurs backing entrepreneurs. We are bringing an incredible wealth of experience and best practices to ASEAN, and our goal is not to just invest in companies but build the overall start-up ecosystem to help accelerate growth across the region. We’re committed to driving this in ASEAN with Cisco and our other partners, as we promote innovation and economic development together,” said Kuo-Yi Lim, Managing Director of Monk’s Hill Ventures.

Cisco Investments is an active investor with more than 40 investment professionals with deep market and technology expertise located in major geographies, including US, Canada, China, India, Israel, and Europe. Over the last 20 years, Cisco Investments has invested in hundreds of companies across different segments and helped them to build successful IPOs or acquisitions. Cisco Investments currently has an active portfolio of $2 billion with nearly 100 direct investments around the world, and also holds Limited Partner positions in over 35 funds globally.

“The ASEAN region is transforming rapidly through digitalization along with a growing community of local entrepreneurs developing new technologies and applications for the region and the world. Cisco Investments’ first investment in ASEAN focuses on helping the country and regional community grow, by nurturing the local ecosystem of start-ups. With this investment in Monk’s Hill Ventures, I’m excited by the opportunities this new breed of companies in ASEAN have, to engage with Cisco, exposing them to our partners, brand and customers, and therefore helping to expand their reach across the region,” shares Pratik Bose, director, Corporate Development at Cisco in Asia Pacific and Japan. (Original Source)

Shares of Cisco closed yesterday at $26.30. CSCO has a 1-year high of $30.31 and a 1-year low of $22.49. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $27.34 and its 200-day moving average is $28.04.

On the ratings front, Cisco has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on September 1, Bernstein Research analyst Pierre Ferragu reiterated a Buy rating on CSCO, with a price target of $34, which implies an upside of 29.3% from current levels. Separately, on August 17, Morgan Stanley’s James Faucette downgraded the stock to Hold and has a price target of $30.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Pierre Ferragu and James Faucette have a total average return of -1.1% and 11.2% respectively. Ferragu has a success rate of 59.6% and is ranked #2830 out of 3752 analysts, while Faucette has a success rate of 77.4% and is ranked #395.

The street is mostly Bullish on CSCO stock. Out of 15 analysts who cover the stock, 10 suggest a Buy rating , 4 suggest a Hold and one recommends to Sell the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $32.77, which implies an upside of 24.6% from current levels.