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Infosys’ $500 mn startup fund loses another senior exec
Photo Credit: Reuters

Pankaj Mitra, one of the founding team members of the $500-million startup fund of software services company Infosys Ltd, has resigned to join networking technology giant Cisco Systems, Inc.

Mitra’s resignation comes nine months after Yusuf Bashir, who led the Infosys Innovation Fund for a little over two years, put in his papers in July last year.

Mitra, who was principal at Infosys Innovation Fund, has joined as a director at Cisco Investments and M&A, the venture capital arm of Cisco, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Prior to joining Infosys Innovation Fund, Mitra was Senior Product Manager at virtualization and cloud computing software provider VMware. He is a graduate of IIT Kharagpur and has an MBA from the University of California.

The development was first reported by The Economic Times.

Mitra’s resignation reflects the management turmoil at the fund, which did not make any investments in 2017, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle.

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

Sikka himself resigned in August last year amid reports of a tussle with Infosys founders and the board.

Infosys Innovation Fund

The fund has made nine investments so far, according to VCCEdge. Its most recent investment was in UNSILO, a Danish artificial intelligence startup focussed on advanced text analysis.

The innovation fund has also invested $4.62 million in the maiden vehicle of homegrown early-stage venture capital firm Stellaris Venture Partners, which was launched by three former executives at Helion Venture Partners.

The other investments from the fund includes US-based big data startup TidalScale, 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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