Srini Koppolu, the former corporate vice-president and managing director of Microsoft India Development Centre (MSIDC), has picked up a minority stake in Setu Software Systems, an information access technology-focused startup incubated in the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT)-Hyderabad. He has also been named the chairman of the three-year-old company.
Koppolu, who in August 2010 left Microsoft after a 21-year stint before turning an angel investor, declined to disclose the quantum of investment that he had infused into Setu.
This is the second investment by Koppolu in his personal capacity, with the first being $350,000 (Rs 1.6 crore now) in Hyderabad-based, location-based mobile gaming startup, Mojostreet, in April.
Koppolu told reporters here on Tuesday, “My role will be to draw a long-term road map and business strategies for Setu. The company’s strong technology foundation can lead us to many unique business opportunities.”
And enable us to create solutions for education and socially-relevant areas.”
Setu, which was started by Prasad Pingali and K Vasudeva Varma, professors at IIIT-Hyderabad in 2008, provides enterprise solutions in the areas of local language search, enterprise and semantic search, social media monitoring and automatic text summerisation. The company supports search in more than 70 world languages through its local language search technology.
Co-founder and chief scientist Varma said the company was profitable from Day-I, garnering Rs 1 crore in revenues a year through delivery of its solutions to enterprises via the licensing model. The company is in the process of filing 10 patents across the technologies that it is working on.
“Right now, we are looking more at the education space, where the users are primarily students. With the new investments by Koppolu, we should be able to go to the next level. Besides licensing to enterprises, we will look at the consumer market at some point,” co-founder and chief executive Pingali said, adding Setu’s offerings were not competing but were in fact complementing technologies to search engines like Google and Bing.