IDG Ventures, Microsoft India partners to aid startups
Bangalore: In a bid to provide to aid the technology startups, IDG Ventures India and Microsoft India partnered to give access to Microsoft suite and funding of up to 25 crore by IDG Ventures. Under the program Early Stage Funding Program, Microsoft will offer suite at no upfront cost under the company's BizSpark program and IDG Ventures will invest up to 100 crore in startups. The program is open to technology companies that are under three years old, and whose annual revenues are less than 5 crore. 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. 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 said, "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 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.