“See. Point. Click. Fix.” LiveAction Creates Blueprint for How Corporate Venture Portfolio Companies Find Success
by LiveAction Executive Chairman Darren Kimura, June 8th, 2017
The end of a government contract was the catalyst for an entirely new business beginning for LiveAction, one of Cisco Investments’ most prolific investment portfolio companies.
LiveAction’s technology and solutions center around developing IT visibility solutions designed to simplify network management.
“Our software manages routers, switches, firewalls and other network elements. We visualize these on a map from a Global View to a Branch View, all the way down to a Device View,” said LiveAction Executive Chairman Darren Kimura. “From there, users can click on a ‘problem dot’ – and drill down to an interface on the device. It works for all segments, from energy companies with 50,000 sites all the way down to single offices with just one or two.”
The company contracted to work with the Department of Defense in 2007 and assist in the department’s need for simplified network management. During this time, the company pushed new software development and what would eventually become LiveAction to the forefront of networking’s stage.
“The military communicated across some pretty comprehensive networks. And the people who were named admins were inexperienced personnel and not well versed in network management. Our challenge was to make it easier to run the networks and do so without having to memorize the Cisco Field Manual,” said Darren. “So the idea behind LiveAction was to make things visual like a video game where users could just click the mouse, select an option and deploy a command across the entire router chain.”
With their government contract ending, the team was left with a question of where and how they could use their technology. After entering the commercial market, they rebranded as LiveAction.
Their work with the Department of Defense had already drawn Cisco’s attention.
“We were able to demonstrate our team wrote quality, stable code and in doing that, Cisco realized we did what we said we would and our engineers were of the highest caliber. We also built excellent rapport with different groups within Cisco, too,” said Darren.
As their relationship with Cisco developed, LiveAction also become a portfolio company of Cisco Investments in 2014, securing $5.35 million for their Series A round of financing.
Since becoming a Cisco Investments portfolio company, LiveAction has experienced significant growth and participated in several different events and partner programs. Having relationships already developed prior to investment, they were able to plug into key go-to-market programs and events for further growth. For example, they are a part of Cisco’s Solution Partner Program, and over the past three years, they have participated in Partner Summit, Partner Connection Series and a highly visible showing at Cisco IT Pitch Day.