Wipro Ventures, the strategic investment arm of Wipro, on Thursday said it had raised $150 million for its second fund as the IT services firm plans to invest more in start-ups providing software solutions in new technology areas.
In 2015, Wipro has floated its first fund worth $100 million as part of its strategy to invest in early and mid-stage start-ups that are operating in the space of cybersecurity, analytics, cloud infrastructure, test automation, and artificial intelligence, among others.
“Wipro Ventures has become an integral part of our innovation ecosystem,” said Abidali Z Neemuchwala, CEO and MD at Wipro. “Our strategy has been to invest in promising enterprise software startups, establish strategic partnerships with them and bring their leading-edge solutions to our customers.”
According to the company, such investment enables the IT firm to differentiate its service offerings apart from delivering financial returns to it. “Wipro Ventures’ Fund II demonstrates our continued commitment to this strategy,” said Neemuchwala.
Wipro Ventures is currently managed by Biplab Adhya and Venu Pemmaraju and has so far invested in 16 early to mid-stage start-ups. While 11 of these start-ups are in the US, four are in lsrael and one in lndia.
The IT firm said while many of its customers have benefitted through such partnership, even there are some exits in its portfolio investments such as Demisto — a cybersecurity company that was acquired by Palo Alto Networks. “It’s exciting to see Wipro Ventures continue to enhance the start-up ecosystem with new capital while helping companies boost their bottom line,” said Rishi Bhargava, a co-founder of Demisto.
In addition to making direct equity investments, Wipro Ventures has also invested in five early stage enterprise focused venture funds in lsrael, New York and Los Angeles.
Wipro, which reported 1.8 per cent sequential rise in its revenues at $2.094 billion in third quarter, has 40 per cent of its revenues coming from digital technology space.
Its tie-up with startup ecosystem is one of the prime drivers of increasing the digital pie in its top line growth.