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.