Wipro Ventures, the investment arm of software major Wipro, could see its corpus grow to half a billion dollars in five years, company chairman Rishad Premji said.
While it started with an initial fund of $100 million in 2015, this was enhanced to $250 million in January this year. It aims to invest in early to mid-stage companies building enterprise software solutions in areas like analytics, cloud infrastructure, cybersecurity and AI. It has done investments in the US, Israel and India.
“I think we have discovered a very systematic and structured way of engaging with young companies. It’s not always easy for a large company to learn to work with a small company, but I think we’ve been quite successful over the last 4-5 years now. So, we want to be comfortable with the technology, we want to ensure that they’ve at least been POCed with a large enterprise. But we’re very happy to take the market adoption risk and help the company get to large customers. Nobody came to us for financial capital, they came to us for strategic capital,” Premji said in a conversation with Chiratae Ventures founder and chairman Sudhir Sethi, as part of the VC fund’s visionary talk series.
Premji added that Wipro Ventures has done 23 investments and over 200 deals with customers. “So, we’ve learned to work with young companies. We’ve had a couple of fabulous exits, which we got very lucky with. I learned that it’s very important to have good exits to be taken seriously as a venture investor because young startups care about people creating value for them.