M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, opens office in India

Bengaluru: M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, announced its local presence in India with the opening of an office in Bengaluru. The office will pursue investment opportunities across the region, focusing on B2B software startups in the sectors of applied AI, business applications, infrastructure, security, and vanguard technologies. M12 seeks to invest in disruptive enterprise software startups in the Series A through C funding stages, targeting both local and cross-border solutions.

The new office is a step forward in M12’s long-term commitment to the Indian startup ecosystem. The deep technical and business talent from India’s world-class engineering schools and major R&D centers are among the primary draws to the region. M12 has already been remotely investing in India since 2019; its portfolio includes category leaders such as Innovaccer and FarEye. In 2019, the fund hosted a marquee summit in Bengaluru to share thought leadership in technology trends with influential leaders from startups and venture capital funds.

Abhi Kumar, India Lead for M12, said: “Typically, we see the greatest hurdles in a startup’s journey as they scale from local success to global challengers, and then again when they go on to become category leaders. Both inflection points require specific and deep organizational strength, proven talent, GTM partnerships, and global investors. M12 is proud to be co-located in the region, and to bring experience and resources that will help startups successfully navigate these inflection points.”

Post-investment, the startups in M12’s portfolio can elect to work with the fund’s Portfolio Development team, which is dedicated to unlocking growth opportunities. Portfolio companies are actively supported through connections to Microsoft’s go-to-market resources, access to Microsoft technology and internal thought leaders, co-marketing opportunities, and engagement with engineering teams to explore product integrations.

Since its founding in 2016, M12 has invested in 90 companies. A financial- and founder-focused fund, M12 maintains a technology-agnostic approach to investments. The 27-member global team has decades of experience in investing, product innovation, business development, go-to-market, R&D, and entrepreneurship. M12 investors take board seats as part of their investments to provide founders with active support and engagement.

The Bengaluru office joins an M12 network that includes San Francisco, Seattle, London, and Tel Aviv. M12 (formerly known as Microsoft Ventures) also partners with several of Microsoft’s broad startup engagement programs, such as Microsoft for Startups. Microsoft also has an active business development team that engages on strategic M&A. These separate teams are deeply collaborative to offer startups the full value of the Microsoft ecosystem.

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