Microsoft brings its venture fund M12 to India – its fifth office in the world is now in Bengaluru

Microsoft brings its venture fund M12 to India – its fifth office in the world is now in Bengaluru
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  • Microsoft’s premier venture fund M12 has established a physical presence in Bengaluru.
  • The fund already has investments in two Indian startups – healthtech platform Innovaccer and B2B logistics saas solutions company Fareye.
  • Microsoft’s venture fund invests primarily in startups in the Series A-C stages.
Microsoft’s premier venture fund M12 has established a physical presence in Bengaluru. The fund, which was established in 2016, has offices in San Francisco, Seattle, London, and Tel Aviv.

M12, which primarily invests in B2B companies, calls itself as “smart money with the vision and scale to empower amazing startups in India and globally.”

The fund already has investments in two Indian startups – healthtech platform Innovaccer and B2B logistics saas solutions company Fareye. But now with an India presence, the fund is set to ramp up its operations.

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What will Microsoft invest in?

M12’s investment thesis is going to be the same all across the world. “We don’t have a geo-allocation and we do not invest in competing startups. As we assess the competitive landscape across geographies, we decisively back the team that we believe is uniquely differentiated by either their IP or their business model, and then stay with them with single-minded focus all the way,” said Abhi Kumar, India Lead for M12 in a company interview.

Sectorally they will invest in B2B startups that focus on the enterprise sector and work on applied AI, business applications, infrastructure and security.

Late stage startups will be the focus
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Microsoft’s venture fund invests primarily in startups in the Series A-C stages. “Our first check into a company generally in the range of USD 2-10 million and preference for being on the higher end of that range with meaningful ownership,” said Kumar.

Kumar also added that the fund is founder-friendly and the “decision to invest takes into account staying committed for the life-cycle of the company and intent to participate in future rounds.”

But for Kumar the one value he looks for in an entrepreneur is empathy – “And that empathy can take multiple shapes and forms – empathy for customer pain points, for people in the team, for organizational capability, for the partners, for the market evolution, for the competitors,” he said.
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