30 Under 30 2020

Wipro Ventures closes $150 million in second fund, to invest in enterprise software startups

The firm expects to build on the success of its first fund, which was $100 million, invested in ventures in the US, Israel and India

Harichandan Arakali
Published: Jan 17, 2020 11:53:25 AM IST
Updated: Jan 17, 2020 12:28:08 PM IST

g_126623_venu_pemmaraju_280x210.jpgVenu Pemmaraju, vice president and co-head at Wipro Ventures

Wipro Ventures has closed its second fund at $150 million, and will focus on enterprise software startups, as it did with the first fund over the last three years. Wipro Ventures is the strategic investment arm of Bengaluru IT services giant Wipro Limited.

The firm, run by former Intel Capital veteran Venu Pemmaraju, and long-time Wipro insider Biplab Adhya, raised its first fund of $100 million in 2015. Investments picked up in the following year in startups that Wipro could collaborate with and jointly take new solutions to Wipro’s customers.

The firm has invested in startups in Silicon Valley, Israel and India. Wipro Ventures will continue to invest in early to mid-stage companies building innovative enterprise software solutions across key areas, including cybersecurity, application development, analytics, cloud infrastructure, test automation and artificial intelligence, the firm said in a press release late on Jan 17.

“Wipro Ventures has become an integral part of our  innovation ecosystem,” Wipro CEO and MD Abidali Z Neemuchwala said in the press release.

g_126625_biplab_adhya_280x210.jpgBiplab Adhya, vice president and co-head at Wipro Ventures
Image: Selvaprakash Lakshmanan for Forbes India

Wipro’s strategy with startups has been to invest in promising enterprise software ventures, establish partnerships with them and bring their leading-edge solutions to its customers. By doing this, Wipro aims to differentiate its customer services, generate revenue for Wipro Ventures’s portfolio companies.
 
Wipro Ventures has so far invested in 16 early and mid-stage startups, including 11 in the US, four in Israel and one in India. More than 100 of Wipro’s global customers have benefited by deploying solutions from these portfolio companies, according to the release.

Companies within the portfolio have seen successful exits, including Demisto, a cybersecurity company that was acquired by Palo Alto Networks. Rishi Bhargava, a co-founder of Demisto, credited Wipro’s commitment to joint sales and go-to-market support, as an important factor that contributed to Demisto’s success.

“Within the first year of our partnership, Wipro and Demisto were working together on dozens of Fortune 1000 opportunities and closing a majority of them,” Bhargava said. “It’s exciting to see Wipro Ventures continue to enhance the startup ecosystem with new capital while helping companies boost their bottom line.”

In addition to making direct equity investments, Wipro Ventures has also invested in five early-stage enterprise focused venture funds in Israel, New York and Los Angeles.

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