Investing in startups is helping Wipro with its foray into digital services

13 February 2019 2 min. read
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Since establishing its venture arm in 2015, Indian IT services giant Wipro has deployed as much as $65 million towards investing in startups. Specifically, the firm has invested in nearly 20 startups across the globe, nearly 15 of which are situated in the US, while the others are in Israel and India.

Investment in startups – most of which are in the digital and tech domain – constitutes part of the firm’s overall strategy to restore revenues. The firm has realised the increasingly central role that the Industry 4.0 domain is set to play in India and across the world, and has fast positioned this vertical as the key to restoring its revenues.

Internally, the firm has been shifting its suite of services to incorporate end-to-end support in various digital applications, drifting away from its traditional focus on IT architecture and maintenance. Recently, the firm has also announced that it will double its recruitment from campuses in order to bolster its internal expertise in the digital sphere.

Externally, the firm has been investing in digital startups across the globe through its Wipro Ventures vertical. Since the vertical was set up in 2015, the firm has invested in 18 startups and secured more than 100 deals. Most of this activity was centred in the US, where it invested in 14 startups.

Investing in startups is helping Wipro with its foray into digital services

Three of the remaining startups are situated in Israel, while the last one is situated in Pune, India. A rapid increase in digital access combined with targeted government initiatives and strong economic growth have combined to make India one of the most vibrant markets for startups across the globe. 

Wipro’s Pune project is Altizon Systems, which was established in 2013 as a digital firm offering services in various Industry 4.0 domains, including Internet of Things, Cloud technologu, Big Data, Machine Learning and a number of others.

“As of date, we have committed more than $65 million in capital,” said Venu Pemmaraju, a Managing Partner at Wipro Ventures, while co-Managing Partner Biplab Adhya added, “Since 2015, we have had more than 100 wins in conjunction with the startups we have invested in.

“We measure both the financial health of the companies and the strategic value to Wipro and the startups. Our baseline investment strategy is still the same—invest into early- to mid-stage enterprise software companies that have exhibited initial product-market fit, deployed their solution at a handful of enterprise customers and put mechanisms in place to engage with a global technology services provider,” added Pemmaraju.