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Former Microsoft, Sprint executives launch mobile and cloud fund

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A group of wireless executives is banding together to launch a $50 million venture-capital fund concentrating on some of technology's buzziest sectors: mobile and the cloud.

Dallas-based Naya Ventures is investing in early-stage companies, it said Thursday. Its targets of mobile and cloud services have become a big focus in venture given the global explosion of smartphones and Internet services that allow consumers to tap into data on the go.

Although it just announced its first close of fundraising, Naya began investing last year. Some of the companies it has backed include Zoomingo, a shopping app, and Glympse, a location-sharing service.

Naya is run by Dayakar Puskoor, a former Microsoft and Motorola executive; Prabakar Reddy, co-founder of outplacement service RiseSmart; and Gowri Shankar, a former Sprint executive.

Many funds are looking specifically at the cloud and mobile. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers runs a $200 million iFund dedicated to companies that develop apps and services for mobile devices, for example.

(Reporting By Sarah McBride; editing by Andrew Hay)

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