Reliance’s GenNext Ventures, Microsoft to fund start-ups

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Sep 05, 2014 23:28 IST

Reliance Industries Ltd’s venture capital arm GenNext Ventures and Microsoft Ventures have entered into a three-year partnership to set up innovation hubs across India to incubate start-up companies.

“Technology start-ups, which are a key source of innovation in India, are at an inflexion point today. While several initiatives are underway to help start-ups, what is lacking is a national platform that seamlessly brings together all stakeholders and provides the resources that Indian start-ups need to be successful. That’s what we are aiming to do through GenNext innovation hubs,” said RA Mashelkar, chairman, GenNext Ventures and board member, RIL.

The companies refused to divulge investment details.

The first start-up hub is opening in Mumbai with the first batch starting from October, according to officials from the two companies Seven-eight such innovation hubs have been planned across the country, where selected startups would get access to business mentors, technical and design experts, apart from technology and office infrastructure. Selected entrepreneurs will have to go through a four months programme.

“Our objective is to spot the best and the brightest game -changing ideas and fund them. The issue is finding...There’s nothing like a number that can be quoted for this,” said Bhaskar Pramanik, chairman, Microsoft India.

After the companies finish the four-month programme, GenNext Ventures will invest (seed capital) selectively, said John Kuruvilla, MD, GenNext.

Microsoft already mentors start-ups through Microsoft Ventures based out of Bangalore.

Reliance had set up its venture capital arm GenNext Ventures in 2010 and has so far invested in two start-ups — enterprise software maker Covacsis and video surveillance firm Videonetics. The amount invested in the two firms has also not been disclosed.

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