India's Reliance Industries Ltd. (NSE: RELIANCE) will partner with Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) to fund and mentor startups in the subcontinent, The Economic Times newspaper reported on its website Monday, citing an unidentified person with direct knowledge of the matter.
Reliance would operate through Gennext Ventures, a fund the company set up in 2010 according to the report, and would attempt an engagement with India's fast-growing startup ecosystem "on a scale never attempted before," the paper cited the person as saying.
Reliance Industries is an Indian conglomerate that operates the world's largest oil-refinery complex. Its diversified interests include telecommunications, retail and media.
In addition to funding, which in the early stage could be typically in the range of 5 million rupees to 20 million rupees ($80,000 to $330,000), provided by Reliance's venture arm, Microsoft would provide access to its units in India and overseas to help pilot a startup's products and services, according to the report.