Former Cognizant CEO Francisco D'Souza has teamed up with industry veterans such as Raj Mehta, Charles Phillips, and David Wasserman to launch a technology investment firm called Recognize, as it sees opportunities amid the huge growth in tech spending globally on the back of the pandemic.
This also comes amid an unprecedented funding boom in technology startups, as more businesses and consumers move online. Apart from Wasserman, who has a background in Private Equity, the others come with deep operator experience, having run some of the largest enterprise and software firms in the world.
Recognize has raised approximately $1.3 billion for its inaugural fund and has closed three platform investments with over 4,000 employees. These include Ciklum, a cloud-native, digital engineering firm with a delivery network across Eastern Europe; SpringML, which is focused on Data, AI/ML, and other Google Cloud solutions; and Torc, which is developing a virtual talent platform for software engineers.
Recognize said in a statement that it will link technology entrepreneurs and founders with strategic capital, operational expertise, and industry insights. They can also access exclusive talent networks, corporate relationships, and intellectual property, as well as an operating playbook of best practices to help companies scale, innovate, and operate more efficiently.
While Francisco was the CEO of Cognizant was 12 years, Raj Mehta was its President.
Charles Phillips is the former Chairman and CEO of enterprise SaaS company Infor and former President of software company Oracle, and David Wasserman is a former partner at PE firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
“The technology services market is 3.5x 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,” said Recognize co-founder Frank D’Souza.
“Software and technology services have always been closely linked and the next-generation of hybrid services companies will apply more proprietary technology to their service delivery in order to create repeatable business outcomes,” said co-founder Charles Phillips.
D’Souza co-founded Nasdaq-listed Cognizant in 1994 and served as its CEO from January 2007 through March 2019. He was elected to Cognizant’s Board of Directors in January 2007 and served as Vice Chairman of the board from 2018 until 2020.
During his term as CEO, Cognizant consistently grew faster than its peers such as TCS, Infosys, and Wipro, becoming a barometer of growth for the IT industry. Its revenue went up 10x, from $1.4 Billion in 2006 to $16.1 Billion in 2018, during this period. Frank is currently a director of GE and also serves on the board of MongoDB.