SAP Ventures has become Sapphire Ventures in a move to reinforce its independence and expanded capabilities.
With US$1.4 billion in committed capital currently, Sapphire Ventures has invested in more than 125 innovative expansion-stage companies, as well as numerous early-stage venture funds, across five continents.
Based in Palo Alto and London and led by Nino Marakovic, CEO and managing director, and Rami Branitzky, managing director of market development, Sapphire Ventures spun out of SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) in January 2011, becoming an independent venture firm. In 2013, it raised more than US$900m in funding — $650m for its second growth fund, which invests directly in expansion-stage technology companies, and an additional $250m to increase its new fund of funds initiative to invest in emerging early-stage venture investors worldwide. The expanded capital and investment strategy allow Sapphire Ventures to participate in larger rounds of financing at the expansion stage and fund early-stage entrepreneurs.
To further support portfolio companies in accelerating business growth developing go-to-market plans, international expansion strategies and more efficient operations, Sapphire Ventures established a market development team in the fall of 2013.
The firm has an affiliation with SAP to give portfolio companies broad exposure to enterprise customers and channel partners. SAP’s global enterprise ecosystem comprises more than 261,000 customers worldwide and 86% of the Global Fortune 500.