Microsoft to start funding IoT and blockchain focused startups in India via new venture arm

Microsoft

Microsoft is all set to form a new venture arm in India to invest in startups focuses on emerging technologies like autonomous vehicles, Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain projects.

The tech giant will work with the local team to set up its office in the country who will look after the investments portfolio.

According to Peggy Johnson, executive vice president, business development, Microsoft, the new venture arm will be headed by her former Qualcomm colleague Nagraj Kashyap.

“We look largely around our core ambitions — cloud infrastructure, AI, machine learning (ML) and connectivity. But India is unique because the productivity here is mobile only. We have learnt a lot and look forward to learning more,” Johnson had told to ET.

The venture arm will focus on Series A and B rounds with a little bit of seed round with corpus around $2 million to $10 million.

Earlier, the tech giant had floated its venture arm in the country headed by Rahul Sood, however, he left the firm in 2014 and started his own fund.

Last year, Microsoft and its partners The Redmond, a Washington-based firm have deployed AI solutions in areas such as healthcare, education, agriculture, retail, e-commerce, manufacturing and financial services in India.

Also Read: Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform helps Ola transform vehicles

Meanwhile, Flipkart is also leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics capabilities with the help of Microsoft’s cloud computing platform Azure, which helps the e-commerce giant to deliver increasingly relevant and personalized experiences to its customers.

Four months ago, it has also partnered with ride-hailing major Ola to access Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure, artificial intelligence and productivity tools to enable predictive maintenance of vehicles and improve the passenger experience.

Besides, the cab-hailing application will also use Microsoft’s cloud computing service Microsoft Azure to power its in-house entertainment product Ola Play.

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