Microsoft surprised us last month when word spread of its Bing Fund, a new angel investment fund and startup incubator in which companies get access to the search engine’s data and other resources from the software giant. Now, Microsoft is officially announcing the first two participants in the program, both of which are close to home.
Buddy Platform, a Kirkland mobile app development platform, and Pinion Tech, a Bellevue online gaming advertising service, have both joined the program.
“We’re delighted to be able to transform such incredible support from Microsoft directly into Buddy customer value – across a very wide range of devices and scenarios,” said Buddy CEO and former Microsoft employee David McLauchlan in a release. “As a direct result of support from Bing Fund, we will shortly introduce new product features that developers and publishers will be excited to leverage.”
The Bing Fund has an unusual structure, with General Manger Rahul Sood telling us last month: ”Microsoft will not take an equity stake in the companies but will instead invest through standard convertible notes (loans that convert to equity at Microsoft’s option). We also add an interesting clause to the note whereby we would forgive the debt if the startup meets certain milestones. The overarching goal was to create a startup-friendly program.”
Previously on GeekWire: How Microsoft’s new Bing Fund will invest in startups