Microsoft’s venture fund M12 opens India office to focus on B2B software startups

FILE PHOTO: A Microsoft logo is seen in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, has opened its India office in Bengaluru, it announced on Wednesday.

The local arm will pursue investment opportunities across the region, focusing on B2B software startups in areas of applied artificial intelligence (AI), business applications, infrastructure, security, and vanguard technologies, the company said in a statement.

M12, formerly known as Microsoft Ventures, invests in disruptive enterprise software startups in the Series A through C funding stages, targeting both local and cross-border solutions.

The new India office is a step forward in M12’s long-term commitment to the Indian startup ecosystem, the company added. The deep technical and business talent from India’s top engineering schools and major R&D centers are among the primary draws to the region.

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, go-to-market partnerships, and global investors.”

The fund has already been remotely investing in India since 2019. Its portfolio includes healthcare data platform Innovaccer and SaaS-based logistics startup FarEye. 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.

M12 already has offices in San Francisco, Seattle, London, and Tel Aviv.

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. M12 investors take board seats as part of their investments to provide founders with active support and engagement.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.