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Former Reliance Industries execs’ VC fund invests in two B2B tech startups
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A venture capital fund floated by two former Reliance Industries Ltd executives has invested in two business-to-business technology startups.

Cornerstone Venture Partners has invested $1 million (Rs 6.85 crore at current exchange rates) each in Wigzo Technologies Pvt. Ltd and IntelligenceNode Consulting Pvt. Ltd, it said in its statement.

The technology-focussed VC firm, set up by Rajiv Vaishnav and Abhishek Prasad, invested in the two startups through its Cornerstone Venture Partners Fund – I.

Wigzo provides marketers a business intelligence experience cloud that uses artificial intelligence models to improve customer engagement and improve the return on investment (RoI) of marketing expenditure.

IntelligenceNode operates a competitive intelligence and price optimisation platform that helps retailers track products at the stock-keeping unit (SKU) level as well as keep track of several analytics and trends.

Wigzo co-founder and chief executive officer Umair Mohammed said the investment would help the startup because of the Cornerstone team’s experience as well as the firm’s own network. IntelligenceNode co-founder and CEO Sanjeev Sularia said the investment would help its growth plans.

“With significant customer traction and revenues achieved, this is the right time for us to come in and help drive the next phase of growth for these companies,” Cornerstone investment director Nanika Kakkar said.

Cornerstone also said it was looking to make five more investments over the next quarter, with a target of between 12 and 15 investments in the current financial year.

The startups

Wigzo was founded in 2013 by Mohammed, Himanshu Kaushik, Shamail Tayyab and Vikrant Khushu. The company offers an enterprise marketing automation suite that allows brands and marketers to personalise communication across multiple channels. It uses data analysis and machine learning to help clients communicate with their users in a personalised manner.

In 2017, the startup raised an undisclosed amount in a bridge round from existing investors 3one4 capital, Aarin Capital, advantEdge Partners, Rohit Malik of DMA Capital and new investors that included Arjun Sharma of Select Hospitality, Mohit Gulati of Altius Ventures and Vic Kaul, a former VMware executive.

IntelligenceNode was established in 2012 as a consulting service. It offers products such as InCompetitor, InOptimizer and InFeed, which enable its customers to get an overview of the competitive landscape in terms of pricing and visibility. They also suggest the most optimum pricing for a company's products.

In 2017, the company raised around Rs 5 crore from BlackSoil Capital Pvt. Ltd, a Mumbai-based specialised non-banking financial company. IntelligenceNode is also backed by angel investors such as Gaurav Sharma, Sunil Varrier, Arindam Das, Anupam Mittal and Gul Mukhey.

Cornerstone

Vaishnav worked as the head of ecosystem and partnerships at GenNext Ventures Fund, RIL’s accelerator programme that is now branded as JioGenNext. Prasad worked as the head and mentor of investments at the fund.

Cornerstone says it is a sector-agnostic $70 million fund that is investing in technology-based consumer and enterprise businesses. The firm says its investment size usually ranges from between $500,000 and $3 million, and that it typically makes its entry between the pre-Series A and Series B stages.

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