Bangalore, March 13, 2009: In a bid to provide access to entrepreneurial, technology and financial resources in one place to accelerate the success of high-potential technology startups, IDG Ventures India and Microsoft India today announced an Early Stage Funding Program. With this partnership, a startup gets the dual benefit of access to a Microsoft suite of the latest tools and technologies at no upfront cost under the companys BizSpark program; as well as access to funding of up to 25 crore rupees by IDG Ventures. IDG Ventures intends to invest up to 100 crore in startups under this program.
The program is open to technology companies that are under three years old, and whose annual revenues are less than Rs 5 crore. Companies meeting these eligibility criteria will be offered access to development software at no upfront cost through Microsofts BizSpark program; and asked to send their business plan to IDG Ventures for evaluation. Startups that meet the investment criteria of the VC will be provided access to funding of up to Rs 25 crore per company.
Speaking at the launch of the program, Rajan Anandan, Managing Director, Microsoft India, said, In the three months since we launched BizSpark, 275 startups have been empowered with access to genuine software at absolutely no cost. The partnership with IDG Ventures and their commitment of this corpus of funds gives deserving startups a chance to really accelerate their growth. We believe that it is critical for the industry to start innovating for India today, and startups are going to play an important part in this. Microsoft BizSpark, announced in December 2008 in India, provides startups with software, support and visibility at a time in the lifecycle when they are most valuable and least affordable – during their first three years, with no upfront costs and minimal requirements.
Commenting on the value of early stage funding to technology entrepreneurs, Sudhir Sethi, Chairman and Managing Director, IDG Ventures, added, In the current economic scenario, lack of adequate funding is likely to be a key barrier to success of young technology companies. We are keen to demonstrate our commitment to the startup community by offering financial resources to deserving young technology companies. We plan to identify at least three to four innovative technology companies through the program and invest up to 100 crore rupees.
Startup companies can apply for the Microsoft-IDG Ventures Early Stage Funding Program on www.idgvcindia.com by providing a basic description of their business, location, annual revenue and founder profile. The company will be sent a code to access free software from Microsoft BizSpark if it meets the eligibility criteria; and if it does, will also be asked to share a detailed business plan IDG Ventures for evaluation for venture capital funding.
About Microsoft BizSpark:
Microsoft BizSpark is a global program designed to accelerate the success of IT entrepreneurs through software support and a vibrant ecosystem that provides startups with software, support and visibility at a time in the lifecycle when they are most valuable and least affordable – during their first three years, with no upfront costs and minimal requirements. The program is structured to help startups take advantage of the resources and support of a global network of hundreds of organizations: economic development agencies, university incubators, hosters and investors.
Microsoft BizSpark provides a broad set of technologies that startups of any size can use to build, test and deploy their software applications, along with program and product The range include Design tools (Microsoft Expression Studio with MSDN Subscription); Development test and demonstration (Visual Studio Professional; Microsoft Server Software, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office System 2007); production hosting (Hosting Servers, IT Operations Servers); and support resources (both technical and non-technical).
More information about the Microsoft BizSpark Program can be found at www.MicrosoftStartupZone.com/bizspark.
About Microsoft India:
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device. Microsoft Corporation India Private Ltd is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation USA. It has had a presence in India since 1990 and currently has offices in 16 cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Jamshedpur , Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, New Delhi, and Pune.
For further information, please visit www.microsoft.com/india/msindia
About IDG Ventures India: IDG Ventures India is a US$150 Million venture capital fund investing in technology and technology-enabled services across India . The fund invests across a range of sectors including software products, offshore services, internet, digital media, telecommunications, engineering, electronics, semiconductors, hi-tech manufacturing, financial services, healthcare and other technology-enabled sectors. The fund is part of IDG Ventures, a global network of technology venture funds with over $3.7 billion under management, 220 investee companies and 10 offices across North America and Asia . Leading technology companies that IDG Ventures has invested early in include Netscape, Bowstreet and VA Linux in North America and Vinagames, Ctrip and Baidu in Asia. In India, IDG Ventures has offices in Bangalore and Mumbai and has invested in Manthan Systems, Ozone Media, 3D Solid Compression, Aujas Networks, ConnectM, iViZ, Kreeda Games, Perfint and Myntra.
For more information, please visit www.idgvcindia.com
Manager Corporate PR