CRM giant, Salesforce has unveiled $100 million for its second Impact Fund from Salesforce Ventures, the company’s global strategic investment arm. This will see the company invest in cloud companies focused on areas including education, climate action, and diversity.
The first fund, launched in 2017 by Salesforce Ventures, invested $50 million into 25 companies. This served over 3 million students and gave 4.8 million people access to new financial services. The company is doubling its initial investment to accelerate the growth of cloud companies.
“Now more than ever, we believe business can be a powerful platform for change. We must leverage technology and invest in innovative ideas to drive the long-term health and wellness of all citizens, enable equal access to education, and fuel impactful climate action,” said Suzanne DiBianca, Chief Impact Officer and Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations at Salesforce. “Through this new fund, Salesforce will invest in companies solving the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.”
To date, Salesforce Ventures has invested in more than 400 companies across the US, EMEA, and APAC to help accelerate their impact around the world. The global pandemic has caused rapid digital transformation across K-12 education. With its latest endeavor, Salesforce hopes to invest in companies that address challenges brought on by the pandemic.
The investment strategy does have specific parameters, with the most important being that prospective funding recipients should be able to show how their tools and services align with Salesforce’s existing product offerings. In education, the company offers a version of its flagship customer relationship management system for K-12 and higher education institutions.
Salesforce isn’t the only company with an educational technology investment fund. In September, Owl Ventures launched two funds, totaling $585 million, just for the education industry. Meanwhile, ETS, the world’s largest education assessment nonprofit organization, set up a new investment arm for both investments and acquisitions.
According to Claudine Emeott, Director of Impact Investing, Salesforce Ventures is currently considering investments in five or six companies out of its second venture fund, but will probably ultimately finance more than 20 companies total out of the fund.