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September 15, 2016updated 19 Sep 2016 12:08am

Sapphire Ventures raises $1bn to fund tech startups

By Ellie Burns

Sapphire Ventures, a company spun from German software giant SAP, has raised $1bn in investment to fund technology startups.

The investment, made by SAP, brings the company’s total assets under management to more than $2.4bn.

The venture capital firm invests mainly in high-growth, expansion stage technology startups worldwide and also in early-stage, technology-focused venture capital funds.

Sapphire Ventures has been one of the few venture firms to have raised $1bn or more this year including Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Norwest Venture Partners, Wall Street Journal reported.

Spun out as an independent company in 2011, Sapphire Ventures has seen 38 exits which include 15 firms went for initial public offering (IPO) and 23 firms were either merged or acquired.

It also says that it has been among the top five most active VC investors in US-based tech companies completing IPOs.

Apart from investing tech companies and startups, the company also invests as limited partner (LP) in early-stage venture capital funds in US, Europe and Israel.

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With the new investment, Sapphire Venture says that it can make long-term investments in emerging and established fund managers and offer them support for multiple fund cycles.

Sapphire Ventures CEO and managing director Nino Marakovic said: “Sapphire’s focus remains unchanged — to back extraordinary entrepreneurs globally and help them build industry-leading businesses.

“In today’s rapidly changing marketplace, high-growth startups need the support of experienced, focused and deep-pocketed investors in order to stay competitive. Sapphire is better poised than ever to be this kind of partner for our portfolio companies.”

To speed up growth in its portfolio companies, in 2013, Sapphire Ventures started a dedicated market development team. The team uses Sapphire’s enterprise relationships to connect portfolio companies with stakeholders of Global 1000 companies.

Apart from this, Sapphire Ventures stages programmes and events that can improve business development and operations across its portfolio companies.

It says that it conducts annual CIO Summit along with monthly events such as the Next-Gen Tech Stack Forum.

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