Salesforce is planning to spend $US100 million (£65 million) on European enterprise startups over the next five years as it looks to cash in on the success of the continent’s best young technology companies.
The cloud software giant, spearheaded by billionaire businessman and philanthropist Mark Benioff, announced that it will invest the money through its Salesforce Ventures business.
John Somorjai, head of Salesforce Ventures, said: “There is so much incredible innovation happening in Europe today and we want to empower the next generation of enterprise cloud startups in the region. Our $US100 million commitment strengthens our mission to help startups grow and give back to their communities.”
Somorjai told Venturebeat that he has seen a noticeable acceleration of startups and entrepreneurship in Europe over the last 18 months. He believes this is down to a number of factors including greater government support and general startup encouragement.
Ludovic Ulrich, head of startup relations at Salesforce, told Business Insider last month that Salesforce has been a “pretty active” investor in technology startups over the last five years.
“Salesforce Ventures are investing more in post Series A and being on the Salesforce platform is a very good plus,” he said at the company’s annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco last month. “Usually we require companies to have a strong leading investor. It’s unusual that we would lead a round.”
Salesforce has invested in more than 150 enterprise cloud startups since 2009. Several of the investments have been in Europe, including CartoDB, Cloud9 IDE, CloudSense, NewVoiceMedia, Qubit, Universal Avenue and YOUR SL.
Ruben Daniels, cofounder and CEO of Cloud9 IDE, said: “Salesforce Ventures provides not only the funding, network and introductions, but also the mentorship and framework to help companies understand how they can give back as they grow.”
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