Salesforce Invests in Startup Fund and Business Incubator

Rachael King reported in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal that, “ will devote a new $50 million investment fund to startups and create an incubator for early-stage cloud startups, Chief Executive Marc Benioff said.

“The dual move is the sales-software provider’s latest push to foster an ecosystem of applications that run on its cloud-computing platform.”

Ms. King noted that, “Salesforce is one of the most active corporate venture investors in software that helps run large companies, and its investments have increased significantly in the past couple of years.

“As of January 31, Salesforce had invested $504.5 million, compared with $158 million a year earlier, according to company filings. The increase was due, in part, to the creation of a $100 million fund to invest in European startups.”

The Journal article added that, “Salesforce’s new fund, called the Lightning Fund after the company’s software development platform, comes as startups are having a more difficult time finding funding and private-company valuations are cooling.”

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