India is advancing steadily towards digital transformation. Businesses in India today are rapidly transforming to adopt digital solutions creating a huge market opportunity for startups. The startup ecosystem plays a critical role, bringing in innovation and disruption in much-needed areas, creating jobs, and offering technical solutions, thereby improving the lives of people. Microsoft is uniquely positioned to support Indian startups to achieve scale and evolve from market ready to enterprise ready. With a cutting-edge technology platform, a well-established partner organization, expansion of M12 to India and a focus on Microsoft for Startups, Microsoft is well poised to help startups embrace the next phase of growth.
Talking about Microsoft’s offerings for the startup ecosystem, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India said, “Microsoft has been playing a vital role in shaping and nurturing the startup community in India and across the world. With our intelligent tech expertise, deep focus on trust and unique global go to market partnering, we empower unicorns and startups to scale sustainably at a global level. We remain excited about India’s entrepreneurial startup potential and will continue to accelerate it as a growth engine for the economy.”
The introduction of M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, in India is creating new value for startups, VCs and the company itself to maintain the pace and direction of innovation. M12 is looking at investing in innovators who have aligned their focus on cutting-edge technologies that better enable digital transformation. Comprised of experienced VCs and Microsoft veterans who have access to, and knowledge of Microsoft’s strategic assets, add value beyond the capital invested. In fact, the Portfolio Development team at M12 is specifically built to help support and scale companies by leveraging the expansive resources of Microsoft.
Further to this, Microsoft for Startups is helping startups become enterprise ready. Microsoft for Startups opens doors for startups across the globe by leveraging Microsoft’s cloud marketplace, enterprise sales team, and rapidly growing partner ecosystem to reach customers globally. Under this initiative, the Microsoft ScaleUp program supports Seed or Series A funded B2B (and select B2C) tech-enabled startups to scale and be competitive. Through this program, startups can co-sell with Microsoft sales teams, get access to top tech VCs in the global arena and mentorship from industry veterans. In less than 18 months, Microsoft for Startups has closed more than 120 co-sell deals with more than $126 million in active pipeline for startups.
Microsoft’s partner organization plays a critical role in making startups enterprise ready and has evolved its approach from ‘partnering to partnership’, where partners build solutions on top of Microsoft’s technology platform, adding value for customers, and creating new revenue opportunities. Microsoft is focused as much on selling third party solutions as their own, and this co-sell motion has helped generate $8 billion in revenue for partners within 18 months.
Working in tandem, these three different Microsoft entities with well-defined objectives, are collaborating closely to help startups achieve significant success in the market. The importance of Microsoft’s role as the technology partner is to support and enable startups – Prepare, Market and Sell. ‘Prepare’ for any market condition to align with customer needs, ‘market’ themselves to drive awareness of their solutions and ‘sell’ their solutions to end-users in association with the Microsoft sales team.