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Persistent Systems launches early stage venture fund, invests in US-based ustyme

Pune-based Persistent Systems Ltd, a software product and technology services provider, has launched Persistent Venture Fund, an early-stage fund to provide seed capital to companies operating in the areas of social, mobile, analytics and cloud computing (SMAC). The fund has already announced its first investment in US-based ustyme, a free video call app for iPad.

"For Persistent, investing in entrepreneurs who are pioneering development in the areas of our core competency brings benefits to the startup and to us," said Sridhar Jagannathan, head, Persistent Venture Fund. We have contacted Persistent for more details on the new fund and will update the story as and when we get them.

Founded in 1990 by IIT Kharagpur alumnus Anand Deshpande, Persistent develops software solutions in next-generation technology areas, including analytics, Big Data, cloud computing, mobility and social, for the telecommunications, banking & financial services, life sciences, and healthcare verticals. With an employee strength of over 7,000, the company has offices and delivery centres in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. In India, it operates out of offices in Bangalore, Nagpur, Goa and Hyderabad.

ustyme is a free video call app platform that enables people to share experiences by reading books, playing games and much more, while seeing and speaking to one another in a real-time video experience. It creates relationships around rich content and gives families and friends the opportunity to engage with one another and build connections that are not possible through phone calls.

It is not the first time a technology major is launching a VC fund. Some of the leading companies including Nokia (Nokia Growth Partners), Google (Google Ventures), Microsoft (Microsoft Venture), Qualcomm (Qualcomm Ventures), Intel (Intel Capital) and Catamaran (Catamaran Ventures), are already running early-stage investment funds. Among these, Nokia, Qualcomm, Intel and Catamaran have huge presence in India and have already invested in many companies in the country. In April this year, home-grown software major Infosys announced that it would set up an innovation fund worth $100 million in order to focus on new ideas, products and platforms.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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