Salesforce launches second £99m VC fund focusing on UK startups

Europe Trailblazer Fund wants to back cloud-based businesses offering solutions to enterprise-size companies.

Software giant Salesforce’s venture capital arm Salesforce Ventures has launched a second $125m (£98.7m) fund for European tech startups.

The Europe Trailblazer Fund will focus on backing enterprise software startups building apps in the cloud. The investment team will be based in London with a “large focus” on UK startups. Companies that Salesforce invests in could also get access to Salesforce’s customer base of over 150,000 companies which use its platform.

Salesforce Ventures says it was the most active corporate VC in Europe last year, making investments in digital payments, machine vision, content management, blockchain and the API economy.

The first $100m Salesforce VC fund launched in 2015 and is now fully invested. It has backed more than 50 startups active in a variety of industries across 13 European countries, including the likes of GoCardless, Unbabel, Sigfox, Wefox and Onfido.

Globally, Salesforce has funded more than 300 enterprise cloud startups to date.

Last year, over €28 billion was invested into startups in Europe – triple the amount invested in 2013; SaaS companies received over 35pc of the total.

In total €30bn was invested in European growth startups in 2018 with more than 2,300 funding rounds, according to a recent report by payments platform Stripe and

Enterprise technology companies that Salesforce has worked with over the past decade include DocuSign, Dropbox, Stripe and SurveyMonkey.

Alex Kayyal, vice-president corporate development, Salesforce Ventures said: “With our new $135m Europe Trailblazer Fund, we are excited to back the next generation of software entrepreneurs. There’s arguably never been a better time to start a SaaS company in Europe, and I’m thrillerd that with this fund we’ll be able to support entrepreneurs on their path to building enduring enterprise companies.”

Further reading

European companies raise £4.4bn of venture capital in first three months