Microsoft to include India in venture fund
City: 

Microsoft’s corporate venture fund, M12, said it would extend its investing coverage to India to help entrepreneurs innovate and grow with Microsoft’s reach, expertise and technologies.

Venture capital investments in Indian tech business-to-business (B2B) start-ups have been trending upwards with over $3.09 billion raised in equity funding across 415 deals in 2018, 28 percent more than $ 2.41 bn invested in 2017, as per Tracxn.

Moreover, an increasing number of enterprise B2Bstartups are being founded in India that cater to a global customer base, most notably in artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics, software as a service (SaaS), data analytics and Internet of Things (IoT).

``These sectors continue to be top strategic priority focus areas for Microsoft and M12 as well. In addition, India offers unique competitive advantages by being home to top technical talent in the world including deep tech areas such as computer vision, robotics, blockchain and autonomous driving. These factors position India favourably to support highly innovative startups that can effectively compete on a global scale,’’ said Rashmi Gopinath, partner at M12 who will be heading the initiative for Microsoft in India.

Microsoft continues its portfolio of investment in the Indian startup ecosystem withM12 announcingits first India investment today,Innovaccer, a startup working to solvedata interoperability challenges in healthcare and helping health systems enhance their clinical and financial outcomes with a data-first approach.

“We are thrilled to broaden M12’s reach to include India,” said Nagraj Kashyap, Global head of M12 and Corporate Vice President, Microsoft. “India is a market rich with entrepreneurs creating world-class startups that are poised for success on a global scale. In working with these innovative startups, we believe together we will help disrupt enterprises and industries ripe for digital transformation.“

Abhinav Shashank, CEO Innovaccer, said, “Our unique value proposition is a holistic healthcare data platform that offers data aggregation and key analytics to help healthcare systems and insurance providers to align with value-based care models and realize significant cost savings and operational efficiency.We are excited to work with M12 and Microsoft in order to leverage their best-in-class technical, industry, and go-to-market expertise to help address needs for healthcare organizations across the world.”

M12 is comprised of experienced VCs and Microsoft veterans—with team members on the ground in North America, Europe and Israel. Globally, M12 has invested in over 70startupsin areas ranging from cybersecurity and artificial intelligence to business SaaS and industrial drones. While the investment team functions like a traditional VC firm, the portfolio development and venture engagement groups strengthen the lines of communication between Microsoft and many of the innovation communities around the world. It has access to, and knowledge of, Microsoft’s strategic assets, enabling it to value add in excess of the contributed capital.