Microsoft’s venture capital arm M12 has made its first ever investment in a startup based in India.
M12 made an investment of an undisclosed amount in Innovaccer, a healthcare data startup. The deal is not a one-off, as M12 is expanding its investment map to India. Leading M12’s India investments will be Rashmi Gopinath, a partner at M12 for the last three years whose resume also includes stints at Intel, GE, Oracle and more.
Innovaccer has offices in both India and the United States, and it offers a healthcare data platform and intelligent care application modules for more than 10,000 healthcare providers. The company combines machine learning and human expertise in the healthcare market to help customers simplify and consolidate financial, patient and operational data to get a better picture of the state of the company.
Microsoft said business-to-business startups in India are taking off fast with $3.1 billion in funding raised across 415 deals in 2018, up 28 percent over the year before. Microsoft says many of these startups are focused on areas like artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics, software as a service, data analytics and Internet of Things, all of which are a major points of emphasis for the company.
Microsoft is far from the only major corporation trying to take advantage of the talent in India, which boasts unique capabilities in areas like computer vision, robotics, blockchain and autonomous driving. Amazon has spent billions to establish itself as a major player in India, and the company predicts it will be its biggest market outside the U.S. Walmart dropped $16 billion to take a majority stake in India e-commerce giant Flipkart.
M12 has now invested in more than 70 startups. It is made up of veteran Microsoft employees and venture capitalists, and in addition to making traditional VC investments, M12 is tasked with strengthening ties between the tech giant and startup communities.