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Cisco invests in Japanese IoT platform provider Kii

William Payne
January 27th 2016
 
Cisco has made a move into the Japanese and Chinese markets for IoT with an investment in  Tokyo based Kii, a mobile and IoT platform provider. The amount is undisclosed.

Kii provides a mobile backend as a service product (MBaaS), as well as venture capital funds. The company has offices in Tokyo, San Mateo, California, and Hong Kong. The company MBaaS offering provides a platform for web and mobile applications to be integrated to back end cloud based systems, storage and software.

The company's clients include a number of telecoms service providers, including NTT, DoCoMo, Softbank, and the world's largest mobile company, China Mobile. Softbank, which has a close relationship with Apple, also owns US wireless and internet companies Sprint Corp. and Virgin Mobile USA.

Cisco is aiming to use Kii's platform to help enable device and IoT providers to create connected solutions with new data sources generated from IoT to be integrated into cloud service and analytics-driven application models in a wide range of IoE use cases.

"We are thrilled to have Cisco Investments sign on as an investor," said Masanari Arai, CEO of Kii.  "Cisco's investment will help enable us to introduce our platform and various IoE solutions throughout the world and help us execute on the larger IoE vision."

"Building compelling mobile and IoE solutions requires a multifaceted effort – and the backend platform is one of the key ingredients," said Miyuki Suzuki, president and general manager, Cisco Systems G.K.  "We believe our investment in Kii will help support the development of a platform that offers the ease of use, features and scalability needed to bring IoE solutions to market rapidly."

Kii becomes the second company in Japan to receive a direct investment from Cisco Investments. "Cisco Investments continues to capture innovation in Japan with our investment in Kii," said Hideaki Yajima, Head of Corporate Development, Japan, Cisco Systems G.K. "Startups expanding into other markets are a key component of Cisco Investments' strategy globally."