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M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, announced its local presence in India with the opening of an office in tech-hub Bengaluru. The firm will pursue investment opportunities across the region, focusing on Business-to-Business (B2B) software start-ups in the sectors such as applied artificial intelligence (AI), business applications, infrastructure and security.

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

M12 has already been remotely investing in India since 2019. Its portfolio includes category leaders such as healthcare technology startup Innovaccer and Noida-based logistics SaaS startup FarEye. FarEye secured $25 million in Series D funding in April, led by M12.

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"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, go-to-market partnerships, and global investors," said Abhi Kumar, M12's India Lead in a statement. "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.”

The fund's first check into a company generally in the range of $2-10 million and preference for being on the higher end of that range with meaningful ownership, Kumar added.

The Bengaluru office will join the office network that includes San Francisco, Seattle, London, and Tel Aviv.

Since its founding in 2016, the VC arm has invested in 90 companies. M12 investors also take board seats as part of their investments to provide founders with active support and engagement.

First Published: Mon, June 08 2020. 14:43 IST