To Jussi Lystimäki, the VP of Barcelona’s Adevinta Ventures, the challenge with starting a Europe-focused fund is that the region isn’t “harmonic.”
“In Europe, you have very local markets, very local ecosystems,” he told Crunchbase News from his Barcelona office. Adevinta Ventures has put money into three marketplace startups, and it has also put money into supporting local seed-stage venture capital firms.
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These days, however, Adevinta Ventures doesn’t have to go it alone in Europe, as one of the largest SaaS companies in the world is doubling down on the continent. Salesforce Ventures, after exhausting its first Europe-focused fund of $100M, has announced a second fund for the region coming in at $125 million.1
The new fund will target startups working in digital payments, machine vision, artificial intelligence, blockchain and the API economy.
Salesforce Ventures claims its the “most active corporate VC in Europe last year” and has invested in over 50 startups in 13 countries across Europe, including UK’s GoCardless and France’s Akeneo. Now it’s aiming at the enterprise ecosystem as it matures, said Alex Kayyal, partner and head of Europe at Salesforce Ventures.
With this fresh capital, Salesforce Ventures is looking at regions it has already placed bets in, like the UK, France and Germany. The corporate venture capital (CVC) arm is also eyeing opportunities in Portugal, Sweden and the Netherlands.
The chart below shows the vintage and size of known Salesforce funds:
When asked for context on the Salesforce Ventures’ latest fund, Lystimäki said Europe-based funds adequately supply early-stage startups. Late-stage funding, however, needs the most attention from investors based out of Europe.
On that note, Salesforce Ventures’ Kayyal told Crunchbase News it plans to invest across multiple stages. Last year, 24 percent of its investments in Europe were Series D or later. Still, Lystimäki said that putting in $125 million in startups across Europe would maybe yield 15 investments at best, limiting the funds ability to supply Europe’s late-stage startups with fresh funds.
For now, we’ll just have to wait to see how far Salesforce Ventures can stretch a dollar outside the U.S.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias