New York-based Recognize, an investment platform co-founded by former Cognizant chief Frank D’Souza, has pooled together nearly $1.3 billion for its maiden fund to invest in next-gen technology services.
The private equity fund seeks to offer capital, operational expertise, and industry insights to technology entrepreneurs and founders with unconventional ideas, Recognize said.
The firm’s other co-founders include Raj Mehta, who previously served as Cognizant’s president; former chairman of SaaS company Infor Charles Phillips; and David Wasserman, former partner at PE firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
Recognize says it is exclusively focused on the technology services industry. It said it has also invested in three companies. These are cloud computing and data engineering firm Ciklum, data and artificial intelligence firm SpringML, and Torc, a virtual talent platform for software engineers.
“The speed of technological innovation is changing entire industries, and it is imperative for businesses and governments to keep pace,” said D’Souza.
“The technology services market is 3.5 times larger than the software industry, yet the sector has only attracted one-third of the amount of private equity capital, underscoring the opportunity for focused investors with a deep knowledge of the industry,” he added.
In an interview with MoneyControl, D’Souza said that India is a very important region from an investment viewpoint. It has a “very active pipeline” both as an investment as well as potential acquisitions to its existing portfolio of companies besides acquiring talent.
Its areas of investments in India may spread across future-oriented ecosystems like artificial intelligence and machine learning, data and analytics, Internet of Things, and 5G in industries such as healthcare, financial services, and e-commerce that have aggressively adopted technology, D’Souza said.
D’Souza had co-founded Nasdaq-listed Cognizant in 1994 and served as its CEO from January 2007 through March 2019. During his tenure, Cognizant often grew faster than listed Indian rivals Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, and Wipro, and in the process became a barometer of growth for the IT industry.
D’Souza is also a director of GE and serves on the board of MongoDB.