Microsoft Ventures: A look at Redmond's latest 13 investments

Microsoft's venture-funding arm has disclosed investments in 13 companies since the start of this calendar year, primarily in the AI, security, and cloud and datacenter realms.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Since the start of 2017, Microsoft Ventures, the company's venture-funding arm, has made investments in 13 companies.


The latest addition, made public this week, is Trusona, an identity-authentication company. Trusona offers a password-free login, along with "the only insured authentication solution" for enterprises, according to a blurb on the Microsoft Ventures portfolio page.

In May 2016, Microsoft announced plans to create Microsoft Ventures, a small early-stage investment group targeting startups in the cloud, security and machine-learning markets. Late last year, Microsoft Ventures established an artificial intelligence (AI) specific fund. Microsoft also occasionally invests in other companies outside of its Ventures group.

By the end of last year, there were 19 investments listed on the Microsoft Ventures portfolio page. (I had counted 18, but that's before Microsoft at some point later added CloudLanes, a cloud data-management company, to its roster.)

Since the start of this year, Microsoft has added another 13 companies to its Ventures investment list. In addition to Trusona, here are the others:

PandaDoc, a company that "helps accelerate the way organizations transact"

Frame, which is designed to help users move Windows desktop applications to the cloud and access them from any device

Agolo, a company that has "advanced summarization software" for news, chat, voice, and video

Bonsai, a company focused on automating the management of complex machine-learning algorithms

Synack, a security-testing-focused company that uses "highly vetted ethical hackers" to crowd source solutions

Livongo, a consumer-targeted digital health company that works with people with chronic conditions

CNEX Labs, a semiconductor company working on solid-state storage controllers and software for datacenters

Prevedere, which provides predictive models of future sales, revenue, and costs using AI

Pickit, a company providing "professionally curated images sourced from the world's leading providers" that can be used inside PowerPoint, Word, Sway, and Windows 10

SnapRoute, creators of open-source software for networking hardware used in datacenters

AirMap, an airspace-management platform for drones

Illusive Networks, a company working on "advanced deception cybersecurity technology"

As Microsoft execs originally indicated, cloud, security and machine-learning continue to be key focus points for its Ventures investments.

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