Infosys, the second largest IT firm in India, has expanded its global innovation to fund $500 Mn in startups. The company has increased its funds fivefold from $100 Mn to focus on new ideas and products. Deepak Padki, Infosys’s former head of M&A has been appointed to lead this engagement with the startups.

The $100 Mn innovation fund was created in 2013, however, Vishal Sikka, Infosys CEO, was looking out for opportunity to put the capital to work. The company decided to invest after the top executives met startup founders from the Bay Area, and professors and students at Stanford.

“The company has expanded its innovation fund to support the creation of a global eco-system of strategic partners. The capital will be used to invest into young companies world-wide innovating in areas such as AI, Automation, Internet of Things, Collaboration and Design,” Infosys spokesperson said in its third-quarter earnings announcement.

A clutch of technology startups is heating up competition for established players like Infosys, TCS, IBM and Mu Sigma. The growth of these young firms is pushing traditional tech players to start engaging with these startups as new big data innovations become strategic for their clients.

IBM has partnered with 100 startups across India as it looks to tap innovations in areas like big data analytics.  Another IT giant, Wipro, under Rishad Premji, has already picked up equity stakes in two US-based startups, Opera Solutions and Axeda.

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