In a bid to promote the startup ecosystem of India, tech giant Microsoft has launched its 100X100X100 programme for software-as-a-service (SaaS) startups in India. The launch of this programme coincides with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s three-day visit to India.
Under this initiative, Microsoft will shortlist 100 startups offering enterprise tech solutions which are in their Series A to C funding rounds. As part of this programme, Microsoft has invited 100 SaaS companies which will help these startups to scale their operations and offerings.
Each participating tech company is expected to invest $100K over a course of 18 months to enhance the solutions provided by the selected startups. So far, 50 startups have already been shortlisted for the programme, Microsoft said.
Launched as a part of Microsoft for Startups, the 100X100X100 programme will provide market opportunities to startups and will also work to turn these startups profitable in India by helping them to increase their revenue and client base.
The company will also provide access to Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure for scaling up infrastructure. Microsoft said that Azure credits, comprehensive training programmes, and technical support will ensure competitiveness among these startups.
As part of the programme, selected startups will also get networking opportunities with prospective customers at Microsoft events. 100X100X100 will be conducted with the support of Delhi and Mumbai Chapters of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE). Microsoft will also connect these startups with venture capitals, accelerators, and incubators.
The overall SaaS industry in India is estimated to have a market value of close to $1 Bn, with a CAGR of 36%. A major factor behind the growth of the SaaS industry is the rise of startups which are offering unique tech enterprise solutions to various companies around the world.
President of Microsoft India Anant Maheshwari said that the 100X100X100 programme will help build scale and create unique opportunities for Indian startups. “India has one of the largest B2B SaaS startup ecosystems in the world. This initiative will help these startups to scale their growth by adopting enterprise-grade solutions,” he added.
Startups registered with Microsoft’s co-sell programme can only participate in the 100X100X100 initiative. Under the co-sell programme, Microsoft enables partners to work directly with the company on joint selling opportunities.
Besides the 100X100X100 programme, Microsoft also runs an M12 venture fund. The M12 fund invests in enterprise software companies from Series A to Series C. In October 2019, M12 had launched its second global Female Founders Competition, in collaboration with investment firms Mayfield and Pivotal Ventures. Four winner startups, which will be announced in April 2020, will get a total of $6 Mn in venture funding. Microsoft had launched M12 in India in June 2019.