Introducing M12

04.30.2018Nagraj Kashyap

Today, Microsoft Ventures becomes M12. We’re proud of the team and portfolio we’ve built, and are excited to introduce this new name as an affirmation of our strategy: we invest in the best enterprise startups; we align with our founders by measuring ourselves on financial return; and we leverage some of the best enterprise assets in the world to add value above and beyond our invested capital. We are a different kind of corporate VC – one that works at the speed of our entrepreneurs with the financial backing and resources of Microsoft.

Our name change highlights our ongoing commitment to the innovators and entrepreneurs whose companies we’re so proud to support.

Who are we?

We are an active investor, with over 50 investments in just two years, in areas ranging from cybersecurity and artificial intelligence/machine learning to industrial drones and 3D printing. We have participated in strong syndicates alongside most of the top VCs around the globe, but also led investments when we believed that we were the best lead investors for the company.

M12 is made up of experienced VCs and Microsoft veterans—with team members on the ground in North America, Europe and Israel. While our investment team functions like a traditional VC firm, our portfolio development and venture engagement groups strengthen the lines of communication between Microsoft and many of the innovation communities around the world. They have unique access to, and knowledge of, Microsoft’s strategic assets, enabling us to add value far in excess of the capital we contribute. They don’t just make introductions, they make our companies more successful by building personalized engagements that help companies leverage all of Microsoft’s resources.

Why are we changing our name?

When we set out on this journey two years ago, we took the name Microsoft Ventures—which, up to that point, had been the name of our first-party accelerator team. That organization lives on as Microsoft ScaleUp. We work closely with the ScaleUp team and are happy to have backed two of their alumni. However, entrepreneurs still face confusion on the appropriate interface at Microsoft for their unique needs, whether that is equity funding, platform support or a myriad of other important items. Our name change gives us an opportunity to be clear about how we work with startups – we invest in them in exchange for equity. Fundamentally though, our goal remains the same as ever: we want to be the most sought-after investor for entrepreneurs driving digital transformation. We’ll continue to do this by connecting the most innovative startups out there with Microsoft’s executives, business unit leaders, individual engineers and salespeople, who work with our companies as we build the next generation of technology—together.

We move at your speed.

We’re fast when you need us to be fast, but we’re patient when you need us to be patient. M12’s connection to Microsoft means we’ve got the time to see your companies all the way through. We don’t have to raise money every three years; and since we’re not always rushing to pay somebody back, we don’t push our portfolio companies to sell themselves short.

We are inspired by you.

The best part of our job is all the founders, CEOs, and team members we get to meet—men and women who are passionate about creating companies that change people’s lives. We are your biggest fans. Your ambition inspires us. And seeing your ambitions realized is our mission.

M12 is a promise to innovators.
M is a reminder that we have the full power of Microsoft behind us.
And 12 represents the center of our universe: E-N-T-R-E-P-R-E-N-E-U-R.