L to R: Lathika Pai, Country Head, Microsoft for Startups MENA/SAARC and Jiffry Zulfer, Founder & CEO, PickMe (Digital Mobility Solutions Lanka)
Microsoft has unveiled the first startups from Sri Lanka to join the company’s ScaleUp program. PickMe, the taxi hailing app developed and maintained by Digital Mobility Solutions Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, and software vendor Linear Squared (Pvt) Ltd will join Microsoft’s global initiative with a mission to empower entrepreneurs to build better companies.
Microsoft will support Digital Mobility Solutions Lanka (PickMe) and Linear Squared with global expansion as well as product development through a curriculum that has been curated to grow every aspect of a startup’s business.
The program supports Seed to Series A funded technology startups to scale their business through Microsoft’s “co-sell motion”, which focuses on opening access and helping startups close deals with Microsoft’s enterprise clients globally. Microsoft will also help the startups with their technology, provide strategic mentoring and support startups’ move onto Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform with up to $250k worth of Azure credits to leverage its Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT) and other cognitive services.
Lathika Pai, Country Head at Microsoft for Startups MENA & SAARC said, “PickMe and Linear Squared represent a wide cross section of enterprise focused technology startups committed to empower every peron and organization on the planet to achieve more. I’m truly impressed by the way they touch multiple emerging markets and provide immediate value for their potential customers.”
PickMe will partner with Microsoft to bring its data platform and product features to market through Microsoft Azure, which delivers enterprise-grade, advanced APIs for global scale. With Microsoft’s partnership, the startup will accelerate the development of new products and features in its offerings to customers.
PickMe CEO Jiffry Zulfer expressed his excitement on the benefits this partnership will bring Sri Lanka’s technology infrastructure and mobility sector. He noted that with the aid of Microsoft, the startup looks forward to bringing more safer, smarter and faster mobility solutions.
Linear Squared builds ready-to-use AI and ML driven products for commercial enterprises. Their products like Capacity Squared, Forecast Squared, ARPU Squared and Retention Squared are built for enterprises in FMCG, Telco, Manufacturing, Retail and Banking sectors.
With the goal of enabling industry agnostic enterprise deployment, Microsoft will work to bolster Linear Squared’s efforts to ‘productize’ their solutions through Microsoft Azure. The company will also support the startup’s journey to become the region’s leading product for data insights and analysis.
L to R: Sankha Muthu Poruthotage, CEO & Co-founder, Linear Squared; Mohit Pande, Senior Vice President, Linear Squared; Sook Hoon Cheah, General Manager, Southeast Asia New Markets, Microsoft APAC; Lathika Pai, Country Head, Microsoft for Startups MENA/SAARC; Hasitha
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Mohit Pande, SVP of Linear Squared said: “The Microsoft partnership has been pivotal for Linear Squared. The access to the vast technical expertise and guidance around product building has been very powerful for us. The Go To Market support through the Co-Selling model has worked very well for us—allowing us the opportunity to work with the vast Microsoft partner network, and expand our sales and marketing footprint. The business mentorship and access to leaders across functions has been an incredible support in helping us realize our vision to build Ready to Use ML/AI Products for Enterprises.”
Throughout the program, and after graduation, Microsoft will serve as a strategic partner for all ScaleUp alumni, providing avenues to market by connecting them with Microsoft’s global network of customers, partners and venture capitalist firms. Microsoft does not take any equity in the start-ups it supports.