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AppDynamics’ Jyoti Bansal floats startup studio BIG Labs, invests $50 mn
Jyoti Bansal

Silicon Valley-based Indian-American tech entrepreneur Jyoti Bansal, who sold his company AppDynamics to Cisco for $3.7 billion in January this year, has launched his next venture BIG Labs.

BIG Labs is a startup studio which will work on solving difficult technology problems and build products that could potentially grow into business ventures, Bansal said in a statement.

Startup studio, which is also called venture builder, is an initiative to build several companies in parallel. Bansal already invested $50 million of his own capital into BIG Labs.

The tech entrepreneur, who made around $520 million from the sale of his 14% stake in AppDynamics, left the firm in February following the deal.

The first BIG Labs project to emerge from the stealth mode is Harness, a tech platform that helps engineering teams deliver software to end users faster through the use of artificial intelligence. Bansal is CEO and co-founder of Harness while Rishi Singh, former DevOps platform architect at Apple, is CTO and co-founder.

Meanwhile, Menlo Ventures and BIG Labs together put in $20 million in Harness in a Series A round of funding, the startup said in another statement. “Businesses are under unprecedented pressure to deliver new software and technology to users faster than ever, and with zero margin for error. Yet current approaches to software delivery remain complicated, highly manual and risk-prone,” the statement said. “Harness has reduced deployment time from many weeks to a few hours, and has reduced errors by nearly 99%,” it said.

After his exit from AppDynamics early this year, Bansal has become an active angel investor and pondered over setting up his own venture fund. He eventually decided to set up a venture building platform instead.

“I am excited to launch BIG Labs—a ‘startup studio’ with the goal of researching multiple large problem areas, prototyping and validating unique technology solutions to those problems, establishing product-market fit, and if all of that is successful, building new companies into high-growth startups that could potentially be the tech industry’s next billion-dollar companies,” Bansal said in a LinkedIn post.

BIG Labs’ peers include Ant Farm Business Incubator Pvt. Ltd which was founded by former Times Internet (TIL) CEO Rishi Khiani in November 2012. Ant Farm is a hybrid startup platform that helps entrepreneurs ideate businesses and scale up existing ideas. It had raised an undisclosed amount in Series A funding from Bay Capital and Hausela Capital in 2014. Agnus Capital, the family office of promoters of pharma firm Strides Group, had invested $1.6 million to acquire a 15.98% stake in Ant Farm in March 2015, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of News Corp VCCircle.

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