I’m excited to announce that this morning Salesforce Ventures launched our new $125M Europe Trailblazer Fund dedicated to backing the best enterprise software startups in Europe. Back in 2015, we launched our first $100M fund in Europe and today we’re doubling down on our commitment.
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. 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.
As I reflect on both my time in Europe over the last 10 years and also the perspective we’ve developed as the most active corporate VC in Europe, three areas are particularly exciting.
The breadth of our investments
Looking at the portfolio we’ve built in Europe over the last few years, what really stands out to me is the breadth of our investments across the enterprise space. This is, of course, true from a geographical perspective — as we have backed entrepreneurs across 13 countries and 20 cities in Europe. But more importantly, it also rings true from a sector perspective, as we have invested in leading companies in spaces ranging from digital payments, machine vision, content management, blockchain, and the API economy.
Though Salesforce has its origins in the CRM space, our platform today encompasses a unified set of products across service, marketing, commerce, analytics, collaboration, and integration. As our product reach and industry focus have expanded, so too have our investments as the realm of what is strategic has also widened.
Today, it’s a privilege that we get to support some of the most disruptive and fast-growing software companies in Europe — including companies like Akeneo, Bringg, Contentful, FinalCAD, Forter, GoCardless, Onfido, Privitar, Qubit, TechSee, Unbabel, and WeFox.
The enterprise opportunity in Europe is unparalleled
Last year, over €28 billion was invested into startups in Europe¹, reflecting over a 3x growth versus the level in 2013. Of the overall funding, SaaS companies received over 35% of the total. The best companies therefore increasingly have more access to capital than ever. Historically, most of the success (and funding) in Europe was focused on consumer companies, but we are seeing a real shift towards the enterprise.
At the same time, we are now routinely seeing companies exit with considerable liquidity, which creates incredible momentum in the ecosystem — for investors, founders and startup employees. For example, Anaplan started in the UK and is now valued at over $5 billion after its IPO, while NewVoiceMedia sold to Vonage last year for $350M (both were Salesforce Ventures portfolio companies). US investors have also taken note of the European opportunity, as last year they accounted for over 20% of all VC funding in Europe².
Entrepreneurs today with global ambitions have the ingredients needed to build category-defining companies out of Europe, and we are thrilled to be part of that success with this new fund.
We are partners in your success
Salesforce is on track to become the fastest growing enterprise software company to ever reach $20 billion of revenue³. Our goal when investing is to become partners in your success and help accelerate your growth.
We are the only strategic investor that is exclusively focused on backing enterprise cloud startups. With more than 300 investments globally, we have unique insight over how to build a successful SaaS business.
Importantly, we also want to expose our portfolio to the many best practices and insights that have made Salesforce so successful over the years. Whether you’re looking for advice on pricing, customer success, product marketing or how to hire at scale, we can expose you to the experts at Salesforce that run those domains internally. Because Salesforce is a platform, startups can also get access to our customer base of over 150,000 companies globally by integrating into our ecosystem.
When developing our industry and product go-to-market blueprints, we also define what areas Salesforce wants to own, and what areas we want our ecosystem partners to own. By shaping this strategy together, startups we invest in benefit from the scale of our marketing and sales motions through joint customer wins.
The European startup ecosystem is growing in unprecedented ways. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be an entrepreneur, particularly in the B2B space. With our new $125M Europe Trailblazer Fund, we are excited to back the next generation of software entrepreneurs. So if you’re looking to reimagine the enterprise and think we can be helpful on your journey, please get in touch as we would love to hear from you!