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SAP announces SAP.iO Fund with $35Mn initial corpus, to invest in early-stage enterprise startups

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German software giant, SAP today launched its SAP.iO Fund to monetarily support startups developing products and platforms through SAP data and APIs. The data enterprise is all set to invest millions of dollars in such ventures that will create significant value for its customers. The Fund will further pour in capital in accelerator programmes and companies in cities such as San Francisco and Berlin.

The fund has been kicked off with an initial investment of $35 million with plans to increase the amount in coming months. Only those accelerator programmes and startups would be eligible for capital infusion, who call upon machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain and other tech fields pioneered by the company.

The very first investment from the fund has been grabbed by Parable Sciences, commonly known as Paradata. The big data analytics company is very close to SAP from a supply chain and procurement perspective. Though the amount of investment has not been yet disclosed.

SAP.iO proposes to fund 10 to 15 companies for the debut year while the count will be raised to 25-30 for the following year. For the third year, company’s Chief Strategy Officer, Deepak Krishnamurthy aspires to benefit more than 50 ventures and accelerators combined.

Announcing the big opportunity for budding ventures, SAP CEO Bill McDermott addressed a crowd at SAP.iO offices in San Francisco on Wednesday. He said,

We’re at this crossroad now where machine learning, artificial intelligence, the internet of everything, blockchain, the notion of all of these unbelievable market forces and opportunities are going to still require that core system, It’s going to be that core system, the inter-enterprise transactions between buyers and sellers in efficient global networks, is ultimately how customers are going to fundamentally rethink business models.

The fund will participate in the seed round for such ventures contributing roughly $250,000 to help them scale the business. Moreover, it plans additional investment in Series A funding rounds as well. Though there lies a key requisite for additional funds — leverage APIs from SAP Systems.

Alongside launching the fund, the company further advanced a brand new opportunity for entrepreneurs in Berlin, San Francisco, New York City, and Tel Aviv. A set of startup accelerators named as SAP.iO Foundry is set to take place in the following cities. While the programs for Berlin and San Fransico will be accommodated at SAP facilities, the Berlin accelerator will be managed by TechStars.

For New York and Tel Aviv, the partnerships powered by the Junction in Tel Aviv and TechStars in New York are on its way. These accelerator programs will stretch for 13-16 weeks and will provide an opportunity to startups to work alongside SAP intrapreneurs. McDermott further added,

We want you to build your franchise and your dreams on our core business offering, and by doing that you can bring your imagination to the equation. As long as you’re authentic and you’re really running the software, we’ll put the full weight and power of SAP and all of our friends behind you and your idea.

Simran is The Tech Portal’s newest member, and has a keen interest in covering enterprise tech and app tech. She reports from our HQ @ Jaipur, India.


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