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Infosys invests $2M in US-based clean-tech startup Airviz, launches incubator, to buy m-commerce enabler Kallidus

After enhancing its startup fund five-fold to $500 million in January, Infosys has now committed its second early stage investment - $2 million in US-based personal air quality monitor Airviz.

The first investment from the fund christened 'Infosys Innovation Fund' was $15 million in in a spin-off from California-based Dreamworks Animation in February. The name of that venture was not disclosed.

Meanwhile, Infosys said it will pick up a minority stake in Airviz. Airviz Speck, an affordable, fine particulate monitor, which uses patent-pending technology from Carnegie Mellon University, can empower individuals and communities to understand and identify health hazards related to air quality.

Though the first two startup investments by Infosys are in the US, it has plans to invest in India too. The company has set up $250 million Innovate in India Fund for home-grown startups.

It has also announced launch of Infosys Incubator. Although this incubator is part of the innovation fund, Infosys has not shared further details on the operations of the initiative.

It is the latest among many initiatives the company has undertaken of late towards increasing its engagement with startups.

In another development, the firm said it will buy m-commerce enabler Kallidus Inc for $120 million in an all cash deal. Kallidus operates under its key product Skava.

"Skava delivers a cloud hosted platform for mobile websites, apps, and other digital shopping experiences across mobile, tablet, desktop, in-store, and all emerging channels to large retail clients worldwide," said Infosys in a statement.

This comes just two months after it acquired Israeli automation technology provider Panaya for $200 million in mid-February.

Under Vishal Sikka, the first non-founder chief of Infosys who took charge in August 2014, Infosys has shown its intent to pursue acquisitions to better use its huge cash chest of over $5 billion. Its cash reserve came down from $5.53 billion to $5.21 billion as of end March. Before Panaya, its last – and biggest ever – acquisition was SAP specialist company Lodestone in 2012.

Meanwhile, Infosys was the biggest loser among blue chip stocks on Friday with lower than expected financial performance for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2015.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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