Microsoft (MS) will set up a venture capital firm to make direct investment in startups.
It will be similar with GV, the venture capital arm of Alphabet, Inc. and former Google Ventures. Recently, Apple and Amazon are also planning to establish an investment business division for the next-generation new technology development.
According to foreign media reports and industry sources on June 1, MS will expand the financial support sector at its existing startup promotion program “Microsoft Accelerator” and set up “Microsoft Ventures.”
Microsoft Ventures new CEO Nagraj Kashyap, former head of Qualcomm Ventures, is expanding its business area to artificial intelligence (AI), beyond MS CEO Satya Narayana Nadella’ “Mobile First, Cloud First” strategy, to mutually grow ith startups.
Previously, MS acquired the London-based AI startup SwiftKey for US$250 million (300 billion won) in February again. In addition, it spent millions of dollars to take over mobile service providers, including email application “Acompli”, one after the other in the past year.
MS, which was relatively far from the startup ecosystem compared with its competitors such as Google, Apple and Facebook, is planning to break through its new technology gap with open innovation with startups. The latest movement is also full of suggestions to domestic IT companies.