I cannot speak about the pros and cons of corporate funding vs. venture capital in general, but having Cisco as our A Round investor has worked well for us. It took forever to get the deal done. In addition to the bureaucratic nature of the process, we had to fend off attempts to insert “right of first refusal” type clauses that would have limited our ability to raise capital in the future. Our legal bill for the financing was breathtaking.
However, since then, Cisco has brought us:
- Instant credibility
Our first big deal was with a public company, and likely would not have occurred without the Cisco name.
- Nice business development relationships
We are in the mix in deals Cisco is doing with large service providers. Unusual for such a new company.
Plus, they have taken a hands-off approach with us: they look at our financials very closely every quarter but that’s about it. We spend zero time trying to posture for them and we can focus completely on our business.