Menu
Salesforce.com launches $100 million venture capital fund

Salesforce.com launches $100 million venture capital fund

The money will go to startups building mobile applications on Salesforce.com's Salesforce1 platform

John Somorjai, executive vice president of corporate development and strategy

John Somorjai, executive vice president of corporate development and strategy

While Salesforce.com has been an active investor in startup companies for years, it's taking these efforts to the next level with its first dedicated venture capital fund.

The Salesforce1 Fund will initially invest US$100 million in emerging companies over the next few years, said John Somorjai, executive vice president of corporate development and strategy. The fund will focus on new mobile application startups that are building products on the vendor's Salesforce1 platform, Somorjai said.

Salesforce.com already has many companies in its investment portfolio, with stakes in the likes of ServiceMax, Kenandy and Infor. With the new fund, however, "we're formalizing the program," Somorjai said. "Companies want more and more functionality. They want more apps. As a result of that we've created a dedicated fund to accelerate that effort."

As part of Monday's announcement, Salesforce.com named a number of new investments, including ones in InsideSales and e-signature provider DocuSign.

While the plan is to spend $100 million over several years, "we'll see how long it lasts," Somorjai said.

Vendors have often used dedicated venture funds in hopes of jump-starting partner interest in a new platform. Earlier this year, IBM launched a fund for startups that want to use its Watson supercomputer to build products.

In 2012, SAP created a fund with similar goals for its Hana in-memory computing platform. The company says more than 1,500 startups are now building on Hana.

It's easy to see why big vendors start venture funds, beyond the obvious hope of investing in companies that eventually sell for big money. Startup developers bring an outside perspective to a vendor's technology and with it the chance they'll create something novel enough to warrant an acquisition.

For startups, these funds provide needed capital but also the added credibility of a relationship with a much larger, more established vendor. This is key for landing initial customers, which tend to work closely with startups to refine and test products before a launch.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cloud computinginternetbusiness issuesSalesforce.comsoftwareinvestmentsDocuSign

Featured

Slideshows

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

In 2017, merger and acquisitions fever reached new heights in New Zealand, with a host of big name deals dominating the headlines. Reseller News recaps the most important transactions of the Kiwi channel during the past 12 months.

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017
Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

The channel in New Zealand came together to celebrate the close of 2017, as the final After Hours played out in front of a bumper Auckland crowd.

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP honoured leading partners across the channel at the Partner Awards 2017 in New Zealand, recognising excellence across the entire print and personal systems portfolio.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments