To help startups grow with seed capital, mentorship and technology, Reliance Industries is planning to make a partnership with Microsoft. As per an ET report, the exact terms and conditions of the tie up is still undisclosed, but start-ups are expected to be funded via Reliance’s venture capital firm, Gennext Ventures at seed stage with an amount between INR 50 lakh- 2 crore.
Microsoft’s Azure Accelerator in Bangalore, India. Source: TheNextWeb
It will operate on the lines of US based Y Combinator’s start-up model. An American seed accelerator, that provides investments in the range of USD 120K to Kickstart ventures for 7% equity. In the end of last year, Y Combinator had funded 500 companies in 30 different markets. Reliance’s Gennext had also invested an undisclosed amount in Covascis Technologies Pvt. Ltd and Videonetics Technology Pvt. Ltd.
Microsoft India will provide a mentor to the selected start-up to guide and for beginning the business as well as extend the products and services of the start-ups via accessing its business units in India. At present, it operates accelerators in nine countries including the US, UK, Brazil, France, Germany, Israel, China and India, where the programme has mentored close to 50 startups.
“R&D spends are going down, large companies are struggling to innovate (for instance Facebook, Whatsapp, YouTube even Google were independent start-ups that scaled globally and not spun out of large corporations) and finally they are struggling to get startups,” said Rajesh Sawhney, founder of GSF Accelerator. “Welcoming the move by Microsoft and RIL to join hands as any new source of funding and mentorship is great for new ventures.