AFRICA – Salesforce, a customer relationship management solution, has announced its second Impact Fund from Salesforce Ventures, the company’s global strategic investment arm.

The new €84.7 million (US$100 million) fund will accelerate the growth of cloud companies addressing some of today’s most pressing needs including education and reskilling, climate action, diversity, equity and inclusion, and providing tech for nonprofits and foundations.

The new fund will invest in companies delivering solutions that address today’s urgent and interwoven crises, including Education + Workforce Development; Sustainability; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and Social Sector Technology.

“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 EVP of Corporate Relations at Salesforce.

“Through this new fund, Salesforce will invest in companies solving the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.”

Suzanne DiBianca – Chief Impact Officer, Salesforce

“Through this new fund, Salesforce will invest in companies solving the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.”

In 2017, Salesforce Ventures introduced its first €42.3 million (US$50 million) Salesforce Ventures Impact Fund to support a new generation of startups that are focused on driving positive social change.

To date, this fund has invested in more than 25 companies to help accelerate their impact around the world.

Building on the success of its current impact investing efforts, Salesforce Ventures will continue to advance the growth of these important companies by making new investments, and providing portfolio companies with differentiated access to one of the fastest growing enterprise software companies in the world, offering credibility, expert advice and customer introductions.

“Salesforce Ventures not only invests in the most innovative cloud companies and founders globally, we lead with our values – incorporating social responsibility, sustainability and diversity into our investment process,” said John Somorjai, EVP of Corporate Development and Salesforce Ventures.

“We want to support next-gen entrepreneurs developing solutions that drive digital transformation and customer success, and also improve the state of the world.”

Impact investing is experiencing significant growth as businesses and investors increasingly aim to make real-world change and build a better future for all stakeholders.

For instance, according to the Global Impact Investing Network, despite recent headwinds impact investors hold a positive outlook for the future and estimates the market size is up more than 40% from last year.

This investment fund, while looking at the investments through a distinctly Salesforce lens, is designed to fund startups to help solve intractable social problems, while using its extensive financial resources for the betterment of the world.

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