SAP Will More Than Double Investments in Venture-Capital FundsAri Levy
SAP AG’s venture-capital group said it’s more than doubling investments in early-stage funds as it seeks increased access to emerging business-software companies.
The SAP Hana Real Time Fund, formed a year ago, is committing $405 million to invest in venture funds, up from $155 million, the company said today in a statement. That’s in addition to the $353 million that SAP Ventures has raised to invest directly in startups.
SAP, the largest maker of business-management software, spun off SAP Ventures as an independent entity in 2011 to give the 40-year-old German company a window into innovation in Silicon Valley and beyond. The Hana fund has invested in 10 venture funds so far, including Ron Conway’s SV Angel and August Capital in the U.S., Point Nine Capital in Berlin and Magma Venture Partners in Tel Aviv.
“We’re building a bridge between the SAP ecosystem and the startup ecosystem,” said Nino Marakovic, chief executive officer of SAP Ventures, based in Palo Alto, California.
The name of the fund-of-funds comes from SAP’s Hana database, which stores data in faster computer memory instead of on slow disk drives and lets customers handle transaction data and its analysis in a single system. While SAP Ventures and the Hana fund are set up to generate financial returns, the investment group is looking for startups that could benefit from using the Hana software, Marakovic said.
SAP Ventures manages the Hana fund as well as the growth fund, which invests in companies. Over the next year to 18 months, the firm will be hiring a business development team of as many as 15 people to work more closely with portfolio companies, Marakovic said.