Wipro Ventures Ltd. has invested an undisclosed sum in the Israel-based TLV Partners to officially enter the race to invest in venture capital (VC) firms and start-ups dealing with disruptive technologies, reports Mint.
Wipro's first investment in TLV Partners, the Tel-Aviv based VC firm that is valued at $115 million, will open up opportunities for it to tie up with start-ups in the latter's portfolio. This would be aimed to improve Wipro's services with a focus on enterprise software and security.
"We engage with these companies based on the level of maturity of the solution and the specific needs of our clients," a Wipro spokesman told the publication. According to Mint, Wipro Ventures is said to have invested less than $5 million in TLV Partner's debut fund-raising. "As we try to broaden our reach in the start-up ecosystem, it's impossible for any one individual or team to evaluate the most promising start-ups. So it's only logical that we also look to invest/partner with some early-stage venture capital funds," a Wipro executive had told Mint last year.
The corporate arm of Wipro has already invested in a total of six start-ups, two of which â€” Axeda and Altizon â€” focus on internet-of-things technologies. The others are Talena, which specialises in big data management; Emailage, which combines machine learning and cyber security; Vicarious, which focuses on artificial intelligence; and the real-time cyber security firm Vectra.
Wipro's move reflects the new strategy in the IT and BPO industry, where big IT vendor companies are competing to invest in VCs to gain access to a wider range of start-ups involved in areas like artificial intelligence, cloud computing, cyber security and big data.
Wipro's investment in TLV Partners highlights how lucrative Israel's enterprise software ecosystem is to India since Infosys had acquired another Israel tech firm, Panaya, for $200 million in 2015, according to the Economic Times. Infosys had earlier invested in two VC firms, Vertex Ventures and 500 Startups, last year. The company's capabilities were also extended to cloud computing, wearables and data extraction through its investment in Trifacta, Waterline Data, CloudEndure and Nova.