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Salesforce launches $125m European technology fund for start-ups

Matthew Field
Salesforce will launch a $125m fund - Bloomberg

US software giant Salesforce is to launch a $125m venture capital investing fund to target start-ups in the UK and Europe.

Salesforce Ventures, the US firm's start-up investing arm, is Europe's most active corporate investing fund, pumping tens of millions of pounds in to British start-ups working on technologies from artificial intelligence to digital payments.

Its venture capital team has already backed 50 start-ups in 13 European countries. These include leading a $75m investment in GoCardless, a start-up processing online payments, and a $50m round earlier this year in Onfido, a fraud prevention start-up.

Salesforce's new Europe Trailblazer Fund will focus on start-ups working on cloud technologies for businesses. 

Founded by Marc Benioff, the US giant has emerged as the dominant force in online customer services technology and sales and marketing. 

Salesforce international president Miguel Milano said: “We see tremendous opportunity to invest in companies across Europe as this market continues to grow at scale.”

GoCardless chief executive Hiroki Takeuchi said the Salesforce team had been a “hugely supportive” investment partner as the business grew.

Last year, Salesforce said it would invest £1.9bn in the UK over the next five years and confirmed a plan to create 900 jobs as part of the investment.

In an interview with the Telegraph last year, Salesforce co-chief executive Keith Block said the firm was “all in on the UK.”

He said: “We have a huge investment. Brexit is, I would say, choppy. There’s a fair bit of uncertainty. But we believe in the long term. However it resolves itself we’re very committed to the UK.”