Microsoft steps up its start-up engagement in India with corporate venture fund M12

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on June 24, 2019

Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India

The software major is looking to intensify its start-up engagement in the country by investing upto $10 million in disruptive start-ups

Microsoft, one of the first multinational corporations to begin engaging with Indian start-ups with the launch of its Microsoft Accelerator Program in 2012, has forged deep engagements with 134 start-ups since then.

The software major is looking to intensify its start-up engagement in the country by investing upto $10 million in disruptive start-ups through its corporate venture fund M12, and made a start early this year with its $10 million investment in healthcare SaaS start-up Innovaccer for under 5 per cent stake.

“Microsoft has been playing a vital role in shaping and nurturing the start-up community in India and across the world. With our intelligent tech expertise, deep focus on trust and unique global go-to-market partnering, we empower early stage start-ups, growth stage start-ups and unicorns to scale sustainably at a global level” said Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India.

M12 has invested in 80 disruptive start-ups in North America, Israel and Europe and extended its investing coverage to India in January 2019 to help entrepreneurs innovate and grow with Microsoft’s reach, expertise and technologies. M12, invests in enterprise software companies in the Series A through C funding stage with a focus on big data and analytics, business SaaS, cloud infrastructure, machine learning and artificial intelligence, productivity and security.

“India is a very important geography for us and we are very excited about the high quality of technical talent here. Innovaccer is a shining example of the start-up opportunity in India. The healthcare SaaS start-up has offices in both India and the US, offering a comprehensive healthcare data platform and intelligent care application models for over 10,000 healthcare providers” said Rashmi Gopinath, partner at M12 who leads its investments in India.

Under the Microsoft ScaleUp program (previously known as Microsoft Accelerator), the software major supports Seed or Series A funded B2B and select B2C tech-enabled start-ups to scale and be competitive.

Through the programme, start-ups can co-sell with Microsoft sales teams, get access to top VCs in the global arena and mentorship from industry veterans.

In less than 18 months, 120 co-sell deals have been closed with more than $126 million in active pipeline for start-ups through the programme.

Published on June 24, 2019

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