Top 50 Emerging Leaders 2022 (in alphabetical order by CVC unit): Prasad Parthasarathi, senior director, Cisco Investments

Prasad Parthasarathi is a senior director and global head for cybersecurity investments and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) at Cisco Investments, a corporate venturing and corporate development arm of US-based networking equipment manufacturer Cisco.

Parthasarathi leads a team that sources, assesses and executes multistage venture investments and M&A transactions in the cybersecurity, cloud, software-as-a-service, enterprise software, consulting and systems integration and IT services domains.

On why he was attracted to corporate venturing, he said: “I think what is unique about CVC is that you have this excellent opportunity to apply a thematic lens to venture investments and offer startups the resources they need to accelerate growth in a short period of time. The trifecta of strategising, transacting and operationalising innovation at scale is the perfect mix for me.”

His investments at Cisco Investments include cybersecurity software developers Exabeam, JupiterOne, SafeGuard Cyber, Secure Code Warrior, ThreatQ, Valtix and Wabbi.

Cloud networking management software provider Isovalent, network traffic management technology developer NS1, cybersecurity training platform operator RangeForce, securities token developer Securiti and cloud authorisation software developer Styra are also among his deals.

From the portfolio companies he invested in on behalf of the unit, cybersecurity platform developer Flashpoint, hyperconverged infrastructure technology provider Skyport Systems and cybersecurity validation software developer Verodin have helped the unit achieve an exit.

Before joining Cisco, Parthasarathi led various M&A deals in large market capitalisation technology companies and was deeply involved in IT equipment provider Electronic Data Systems’ $14bn sale to enterprise technology provider Hewlett-Packard.

He has an MBA from Indian School of Business Hyderabad and held corporate finance and advisory roles in Singapore and India.

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.