Microsoft has announced it will be revamping its start-up investments with a new division called Microsoft Ventures. Its goal is to find and invest in companies that can take full advantage of Microsoft's own technology and products.
In a blog post, Microsoft said that this new division is meant to be a middle ground between Microsoft Accelerator, which helps early stage businesses with tools and consultation assistance, and the company's larger-scale investments and acquisitions.
Given that the move to the cloud remains the single largest priority for the industry, identifying the bleeding-edge companies who complement and leverage the transition to the cloud is key to our investment thesis. Companies developing product and services that complement Azure infrastructure, building new business SaaS applications, promoting more personal computing by enriching the Windows and HoloLens ecosystems, new disruptive enterprise, consumer productivity, and communication products around Office 365 are interesting areas from an investment perspective. In addition, and on a more horizontal axis, you should expect to see us invest in companies who are doing work in the areas for machine learning and security.
Microsoft Ventures will begin investing in companies located in San Francisco, Seattle, New York City and Tel Aviv and will expand its efforts in the years to come. Microsoft did not say how much money or how many investments it plans to make per year, but it will have "steady activity over the course of the year".