Microsoft is investing $250M in office equipment startup, the company says

The Microsoft office supply chain, which supplies office chairs and desktops, has raised $250 million in Series A funding led by Microsoft’s cloud-computing company, Azure.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the new round during an earnings call with analysts Wednesday, adding that the funding will be used to “help us accelerate our plans to bring more people to our Azure cloud.”

The company will also be using the new funding to improve its existing products and services, Nadell said.

“Our goal is to continue to provide the best office supplies and services to our employees,” he said.

Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, said the new financing will help the company “continue to expand its reach and increase its productivity” as it makes the transition from traditional hardware to cloud-based services.

Microsoft also recently announced that it would spend $500 million to create a new business unit called Azure Office 365, which is focused on cloud-first office supplies.

Microsoft will also open a new Azure cloud center in Seattle and invest $100 million in a new data center in California.

Microsoft is also working on a new way to deliver Office 365 to Windows 10 devices, including a new Windows Ink and Windows 10 Mobile app that could make it easier to collaborate and share files and documents.

Microsoft will announce new Office 365 devices and services in the coming months, including Office 365 for Windows 10, a subscription service that will enable people to buy an Office 365 subscription for $10 per month.

Microsoft has been looking for ways to improve productivity in the cloud, but the new investment comes at a time when the company is struggling to compete with Amazon’s Office 365 cloud services.

Microsoft’s shares were up 2% to $6,038 in early trading Wednesday.

Follow Michael S. Schmidt on Twitter at @MichaelSchmidtWP.