Salesforce Ventures, the global corporate investment branch of the CRM (customer relationship management) software corporation Salesforce, has launched a $125 million Europe Trailblazer Fund to invest in entreprise software startups throughout the continent. The firm has already invested in over 50 companies across Europe through its previous $100 million European fund, which was launched in 2015.
“Over the last ten years, we have accelerated some of the most iconic companies in B2B enterprise globally, and we’re delighted to continue that journey alongside entrepreneurs in Europe,” Alex Kayyal, partner and head of Europe at Salesforce Ventures, wrote in a Medium post. “There’s arguably never been a better time to start a SaaS company in Europe, and I’m thrilled that with this fund we’ll be able to support entrepreneurs on their path to building enduring enterprise companies.”
According to Pitchbook, Salesforce Ventures was the most active corporate venture capital firm in Europe in 2018. It is also the only strategic fund that’s 100 percent dedicated to backing enterprise companies, Kayyal stated.
“We see tremendous opportunity to invest in companies across Europe as this market continues to grow at scale,” Miguel Milano, president over the international division at Salesforce, explained in a press release. “At Salesforce, we focus on backing ambitious entrepreneurs who are building the most innovative solutions to support our customers’ digital transformation.”
Last year, over €28 billion were invested in European startups, a 300 percent increase from 2013, according to a Dealroom.co report. About 35 percent of those funds went to SaaS (Software as a Service) startups. Modern-day businesses in Europe have access to more funding, expert connections, and funding than ever before, making it easier to start and scale a profitable company.
“Europe is a clear leader in cloud technology today, and we are excited to deepen our investment in the region,” said John Somorjai, EVP of Corporate Development and Salesforce Ventures. “Our commitment to European startups 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.”
Salesforce, which was founded in San Francisco, California, was the highest ranked CRM in the EMEA area based on market share last year. As such, backing from such an entity can give a startup the boost it needs to become a successful entreprise on an international level.
“Getting funded by Salesforce Ventures is a tremendous opportunity to work with a thoughtful investor partner with deep knowledge of enterprise customers and the journey a startup takes on its path to scaling to be a major enterprise itself,” said Sascha Konietzke, CEO of German Contentful. “Bottom line, Salesforce Ventures helps us show customers we’re a well-backed company that will be here for the long haul.”