Salesforce is backing Australian startups with $50 million fund


US tech giant Salesforce has pledged to invest $50 million into Australian startups.

Salesforce, known for its customer relationship management software, said that “The Australia Trailblazer Fund” will help Aussie founders to scale and invest in innovation.

The money is coming from Salesforce’s dedicated venture capital arm, Salesforce Ventures, which has also backed companies like Evernote, Stripe, and Dropbox. Some 300 startups across 20 countries have been backed by the fund so far.

Headquartered in San Francisco and led by billionaire Marc Benioff, Salesforce will hope to make a profit from the investments it makes into Australian startups.

John Somorjai, EVP of corporate development and Salesforce Ventures, said in a statement: “Salesforce Ventures recognises the incredible opportunity to invest in Australian entrepreneurs to create world-class startups that will grow the opportunity within the Salesforce ecosystem and deliver customer success.”

Almost half of all Australian startups are currently trying to raise capital, according to Startup Muster, which aims to provide an annual snapshot of the Australian startup ecosystem.

Salesforce announced the new VC fund on the same day a US tech investor criticised Australian founders for paying themselves too much.

Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, welcomed the announcement, saying it will help companies succeed at home and internationally.

“Initiatives such as Salesforce Ventures’ new $50 million Australian Trailblazer Fund provide the valuable support and investment needed for startups to scale, employ Australians, and see their great ideas become great businesses,” said Birmingham.

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