Microsoft venture fund M12 goes to Bengaluru


Microsoft’s venture fund M12 announced its local presence in India Wednesday with the opening of an office in Bengaluru.

The office, according to a media release from Microsoft, will pursue investment opportunities across the region, focusing on B2B software startups in the sectors of applied AI (artificial intelligence), business applications, infrastructure, security, and vanguard technologies.

M12, the release said, seeks to invest in disruptive enterprise software startups in the Series A through C funding stages, targeting both local and cross-border solutions.

M12 called its Bengaluru office “a step forward” in its “long-term commitment to the Indian startup ecosystem”.

M12, it said, has already been remotely investing in India since 2019 and 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, was quoted as saying: “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.”

Startups in M12’s portfolio can elect to work with the fund’s Portfolio Development team.

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, a financial- and founder-focused fund, has invested in 90 companies.

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