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Yusuf Bashir

Head of Infosys’ $500-mn startup fund Yusuf Bashir resigns

26 July, 2017

Yusuf Bashir, who was leading the $500-million startup fund of software services major Infosys for a little over two years, has put in his papers, a financial daily reported.

Bashir’s exit comes barely a few days after Ritika Suri stepped down as the IT giant’s executive vice-president. Both Bashir and Suri were Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka’s former colleagues at German business software maker SAP SE, and were considered close to him.

Bashir, who worked out of Palo Alto, California, was appointed as managing director of Infosys Innovation Fund in early 2015. The fund invests in young companies innovating in next-generation solutions and technologies, such as artificial intelligence, automation and pervasive connectedness, besides collaboration and design technologies.

The Economic Times was the first to report that Bashir had resigned.

An email query to Infosys Innovation Fund for a confirmation on the development did not elicit any response till the time filing this report.

The resignations come at a time when Sikka is facing a host of new challenges in Infosys’ biggest market following the changes in the US visa rules, besides the corporate governance issues that had cropped up earlier this year.

Prior to joining Infosys Innovation Fund, Bashir was the vice-president of new products at SAP. He had spent over a decade in product management at Informatica, MicroStrategy and SignalDemand, which was acquired by PROS. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the Sloan School of Management, and a Master’s degree in Management Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Infosys Innovation Fund
The fund has made nine investments so far, according to News Corp VCCEdge, the data and research platform of VCCircle.

Last year, Infosys had invested $4.62 million in the maiden fund of homegrown early-stage venture capital firm Stellaris Venture Partners, which was launched by three former executives at Helion Venture Partners, through the innovation fund.

In 2016, the fund had also invested in UNSILO, a Danish artificial intelligence startup focused on advanced text analysis, besides US-based big data startup TidalScale.

The other investments from the fund includes Israel-based cloud monitoring solutions startup Cloudyn Software Ltd, San Francisco-based data visualisation startup Trifacta Inc, and Delaware-based big data startup Waterline Data Science Inc.

Infosys’ rival Wipro also runs a $100-million corporate venture fund. Wipro Ventures’ investments include US-based Vicarious, a robotics startup that enables computers to achieve human-level intelligence, and Altizon Systems Pvt Ltd, which operates a technology platform for developing industrial Internet of Things solutions.

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Head of Infosys’ $500-mn startup fund Yusuf Bashir resigns

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