Microsoft’s Corporate Venture M12 to Fund Tech Startups in India

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M12 has invested in more than 70 startups globally in many fields ranging from cybersecurity and AI to industrial drones and business SaaS

M12, formerly known as Microsoft Ventures, is going to invest in several startups in India with investment size ranging from US$ 2 million to US$ 10 million. For its first funding in the country, M12 has selected health technology startup Innovaccer.

The company will focus on areas such as big data and analytics, cloud infrastructure, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), business Software as a Service (SaaS) and productivity and security.

Rashmi Gopinath, Partner at M12, said that the company will provide funding to enterprise business-to-business (B2B) startups, which are taking part in series A to C rounds, with fund sizes of US$ 2-10 million.

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M12 will lead these rounds of funding or co-invest along with strong domestic investors, she said.

Gopinath further said that Innovaccer is working in solving the challenges of data interoperability in healthcare and offering support to health systems in enhancing their clinical and financial outcomes through a data-first approach.

In India, the investment activity in technology is at a record level. It is estimated that venture capitalists pumped in more than US$ 3.09 billion in B2B startups in 2018, an increase of 28 per cent compared to US$ 2.41 billion invested in 2017, she stated.

Rising number of B2B startups

In addition, a rising number of enterprise B2B startups are being established in the country. These are catering to an international customer base, primarily in AI and ML, data analytics, SaaS, robotics, and Internet of Things (IoT), she added.

Gopinath further stated that India has a unique competitive advantage as there is availability of top technical talent, including in deep technology segments like computer vision, blockchain, robotics and autonomous driving.

M12, corporate venture fund of Microsoft, has experienced venture capitalists and veterans from Microsoft, with team members on the ground in Europe, North America and Israel. The company has invested in more than 70 startups globally in many fields ranging from cybersecurity and AI to industrial drones and business SaaS.

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