Today, I am excited to announce that Cisco is launching a new, independent venture capital firm, Decibel, focused exclusively on early stage investing in the Enterprise. This is the first truly independent effort ever formed by a major technology company. Decibel is designed to bring together the best of both worlds – the capabilities of a best in class, early stage VC firm with the resources only a company like Cisco can offer. With Decibel, Cisco is adding another dimension to its multi-faceted approach to innovation – a relationship with entrepreneurs and the startup ecosystem at their earliest inception and with this, a lens into the people, technologies and trends that will shape the Enterprise in the decades to come.
Investment into private companies is growing. The number of public companies is falling, and it’s taking longer for private companies to go public. The companies staying private are worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Hell, even The Economist dug into the private company boom, noting that “[i]nstitutional investors are rushing headlong into private markets, especially into venture capital, private equity and private debt.”