Wipro Ventures, the investing arm of Indian IT major Wipro, has today announced the close of its second fund, ‘Fund II’. This second fund represents an additional $150M of capital allocation which the firm plans to deploy in enterprise software startups that are strategically important to Wipro.
Unlike usual VC firms, Wipro Ventures aims at not just investing, but providing strategic business partnerships to startups as well. Till date, the firm has invested in sixteen early- to mid-stage startups, including eleven in the US, four in Israel and one in India. The strategy is to invest in early to mid-stage enterprise software startups, establish strategic partnerships with them and bring their leading-edge solutions to Wipro customers.
“Our approach has enabled Wipro to differentiate our services, while enabling our portfolio to deploy solutions globally, generating significant revenues for our startups and financial returns for Wipro. Wipro Ventures’ Fund II demonstrates our continued and increased commitment to this strategy”, said Biplab Adhya and Venu Pemmaraju, managing partners at the fund.
Wipro Ventures was founded in 2015 with a $100 million fund to focus on investing enterprise companies. The firm invested in 16 such startups from that fund and has tasted considerable success. One of the most talked about investments was that in enterprise security startup Demisto, which was later sold to Palo Alto for a whopping $560 million.
Corporations opening up their deep pockets for startup investments isn’t a new phenomenon. While most have heard of investing arms from celebrated US tech companies like Facebook, Intel, Google etc., India’s IT majors have been in the space for quite some time now. A 2017 CB Insights report showed that Wipro and Infosys, which runs Innovation Fund, alone had invested in 28 firms and acquired eight startups.