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Infosys startup fund strikes second exit, takes a haircut again
Photo Credit: Reuters

Infosys Innovation Fund, the $500-million startup fund of software services firm Infosys Ltd, has offloaded its stake in Danish artificial intelligence firm UNSILO at less than half the price it had invested.

Infosys said in a stock market disclosure the fund sold its minority stake in UNSILO for around $800,000 (Rs 5.7 crore at current exchange rates). This is far lower than the $2 million it had invested in the Danish company in November 2016.

This is the fund's second known exit from its portfolio. In December 2017, the fund had exited ANSR Consulting Holdings Inc., which helps multinational companies to bring global captive units to India. It had sold its stake for $1 million, lower than the $1.4 million it had invested in the US company.

In the latest transaction, the fund exited UNSILO as part of a deal where the Danish firm is being acquired by Cactus Communications, a global scientific communications company.

UNSILO, co-founded by Mads Rydahl and Thomas Laursen, provides AI tools and solutions for publishers to grow their business and improve customer experience through products.

Rydahl said the deal will benefit customers by combining Cactus’s scale and reach in the publishing and pharmaceutical industries with UNSILO’s text intelligence platform.

The Infosys fund has been dormant in terms of making new investments and had made headlines for the top-level churn it went through in 2018. It didn’t have a head for almost 10 months until April 2018 when Infosys named long-time employee Deepak Padaki to lead the investment vehicle. Padaki replaced Yusuf Bashir, who had quit in 2017.

The fund has so far backed nine startups and two venture capital firms, Vertex Ventures and Stellaris Venture Partners. Its bets include WHOOP Inc, a US-based company offering performance optimisation solutions for athletes and sports teams. It had also picked up a minority stake in CloudEndure, an Israeli startup that provides cloud migration and cloud-based disaster recovery software.

Besides, the fund had invested in cleantech startup Airviz Nova, which is a spin-off from animation film producer DreamWorks Animation, and in unmanned aerial vehicle solution provider ideaForge.

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