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2015-03-24

Infosys to pump in $500-million fund for India, Silicon Valley and Israel startups

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka is seeking to broaden the company\'s offerings in newer areas of technology to differentiate it from rivals.

India's leading IT services firm Infosys is planning to allocate around $500-million (about Rs 3,000 crore) fund for startups in India, Silicon Valley and Israel.

According to an Economic Times report, country's second-largest software services exporter has had discussions with many VC firms for such investments, two people familiar with Infosys' strategy said.

"There are no formal agreements with any particular VCs. The strategy is to back startups and entrepreneurs with ideas that align with the company. The idea is not just to be a passive financial investor but take disruptive solutions to customers," one of them told ET.

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka is seeking to broaden the company's offerings in newer areas of technology to differentiate it from rivals such as Cognizant and Wipro amid a rapidly evolving technology landscape.

Last month, the firm invested about $15 million in a spin-off of DreamWorks Animation. This is Infosys’s first investment from $500 million innovation fund it had set up last year. Shortly after, Infosys bought US and Israel-based automation startup Panaya in a deal estimated to be about Rs 1,200 crore ($200 million).

“At Infosys, we focus on building amazing innovation, as the world around us is going through a very profound transformation. We will do things of that nature and we think the information technology needs of the world require a different type of mindset for startups. More and more the innovations that businesses are looking for are going to come from start-up companies,” Sikka said on the sidelines of the Goldman Sachs event held last month. On acquisition strategy, he said, "Infosys was interested in acquiring innovative but smaller companies having great technologies, which it could help to bring to a scale.

Further, Infosys recently decided to restructure its research and development arm Infosys Labs to drive greater innovation and value to the service lines and platforms that the firm supports.

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