Top 50 Rising Stars 2022 (in alphabetical order by CVC unit): Mike Lim, director, Cisco Investments
Mike Lim is a director and global head of collaboration investments and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) at Cisco Investments, the corporate venture capital and corporate development arm of US-headquartered global enterprise technology group Cisco.
Lim, who joined Cisco Investments in 2017, leads the team responsible for sourcing, evaluating and executing venture investments and M&A globally in the Collaboration domain.
Regarding what drew him to the unit, Lim added: “For me, Cisco Investments’ unique approach to investing was a big draw. First, Cisco’s business unit leaders represent some of the top innovative and thought leaders in their areas. They partner with us to identify, vet startups and that has allowed me to become a domain expert myself.
“Second, I was excited by the breadth of support Cisco can provide to startups – from technical and commercial partnerships to becoming a customer themselves. These just cannot be done by a traditional VC.
“Finally, Cisco Investments is a strategic investor with a thesis-driven team. That means we spend a significant amount of time developing our visions for how certain technologies and markets will evolve in the coming years.
“For me, the real magic happens when you are talking with an entrepreneur or investor and realise that they share that same vision. I am passionate about working with those founders and giving them access to Cisco’s resources and ecosystem – so we can realise their full potential together.”
During his time at Cisco Investments, Lim has taken board observer seats at memory virtualisation software platform Memverge, customer data platform ActionIQ, digital adoption platform Whatfix and asynchronous short video platform Voodle. He also led or helped complete various investments, including Cohesity, Avi Networks, Isovalent and Moogsoft.
Aside from his investment activity, he has also built a strong track record in M&A transactions, including the acquisitions of IMImobile, Cisco’s first acquisition of a UK-publicly traded company, Dashbase.io, and Exablaze, as well as acquisitions of Cisco Investments portfolio companies Involvio and Skyport.
Before Cisco, Lim started his career in M&A over 15 years ago, with most of that time as an M&A banker focusing on strategic deals in the broader technology sector at Deutsche Bank, BMO and ING, and a brief stint on the transaction accounting and M&A valuation side at PWC.