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

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cloud computinginternetbusiness issuesSalesforce.comsoftwareinvestmentsDocuSign

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender’s best-in-class security solutions have been awarded Product of the Year. Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?