Salesforce Ventures launches new $125m Trailblazer Fund for European start-ups

23 May 2019468 Views

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Focus of new Salesforce fund is on pioneering enterprise cloud firms in a range of deep-tech fields.

The venture capital (VC) arm of CRM giant Salesforce has revealed its new $125m Europe Trailblazer Fund for enterprise cloud start-ups.

It is understood that Salesforce Ventures was the most active corporate VC in Europe last year, according to Pitchbook, and invested in companies pioneering digital payments, machine vision, AI, blockchain and the API (application program interface) economy.

According to 2018 data, €28bn was invested in European and Israeli start-ups last year, representing more than three times the growth compared to the level in 2013. Of the overall funding, SaaS companies received more than 35pc, according to Dealroom.

The global shift to the cloud has created new, cutting-edge technology that has fuelled customer success across industries.

IDC forecasts that the EMEA public cloud services market will more than double between 2018 and 2023, surpassing $105.3bn in 2023.

Europe is a leader in cloud technology

“Europe is a clear leader in cloud technology today, and we are excited to deepen our investment in the region,” said John Somorjai, Salesforce’s executive vice-president of corporate development and Salesforce Ventures.

“Our commitment to European start-ups reflects the growth of innovation, our belief in the local entrepreneurs and our focus on creating the world’s largest ecosystem of enterprise cloud companies to drive customer success.”

In 2015, Salesforce Ventures introduced its first $100m investment commitment in Europe and brought on Alex Kayyal as partner and head of Europe to lead the fund. Since then, Salesforce Ventures has fully deployed this initial fund and backed more than 50 start-ups in 13 countries in Europe.

Investments to date include: GoCardless, Privatar and Onfido in the UK; FinalCAD, Akeneo and Sigfox in France; Bringg, Forter and TechSee in Israel; Wefox, Contentful and Empaua in Germany; and 4C, Unbabel and Carto in the rest of Europe.

“We see tremendous opportunity to invest in companies across Europe as this market continues to grow at scale,” said Miguel Milano, international president at Salesforce.

“At Salesforce, we focus on backing ambitious entrepreneurs who are building the most innovative solutions to support our customers’ digital transformation.”

John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist who served as editor of Siliconrepublic.com for 17 years.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com