As the startup ecosystem in India is expanding rapidly, Microsoft has been on a search for startups to invest in. The company recently announced its first India investment in a healthcare startup - Innovaccer.
The funding of USD 11 million was led by the company’s venture capital (VC) arm M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures), which works towards identifying innovative companies around the globe.
"We bring important signals back to Microsoft on what's happening, what are some of the technology trends that we need to be aware of. Our goal is how we can partner with the identified companies and take meaningful solutions to the market,” said Rashmi Gopinath, partner at M12.
M12 has made 80 investments in startup companies across US, Europe, Israel and the most recent one being in India with Innovaccer. Gopinath said that the goal of VC investments is to further enhance the ecosystem around Microsoft product suite across different technology lines.
“Our focus areas are AI/ML, cloud infrastructure, DevOps, business SaaS, cybersecurity etc., as these are the key product spaces where Microsoft has a strong presence. If we invest in startups that operate in these spaces, we can help them grow in a meaningful way,” added Gopinath.
According to Microsoft India president, Anant Maheshwari, the company is working to help startups grow through its ecosystem capabilities. Startups can quickly achieve solutions or application readiness with Microsoft’s go to market and sales channels, he adds.
"We have positioned ourselves in a way that different parts of Microsoft come together to help the startup ecosystem. Startups can benefit from the tech and business ecosystem capabilities present in the enterprise world. There are over 30,000 startups in India and our mission is to empower innovators to achieve their best potential," said Maheshwari.