Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, announced its second Impact Fund from Salesforce Ventures, the company’s global strategic investment arm. The new $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.
“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.”
“Salesforce Ventures not only invests in the most innovative cloud companies and founders globally, but we also 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.”
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The new fund will invest in companies delivering solutions that address today’s urgent and interwoven crises:
- Education + Workforce Development: Companies enabling equal access to high-quality education, reskilling, and preparing workers for jobs of the future.
- Sustainability: Companies creating better access to clean energy, improving resource efficiency and supply chain performance, and developing new technologies that will help address climate change.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Companies developing tools that promote equal opportunity and economic empowerment for women and underrepresented groups, as well as investing in women and underrepresented founders.
- Social Sector Technology: Companies amplifying impact for nonprofits, foundations, and public sector customers through technology that increases efficiency and transparency.
“Guild is on a mission to unlock opportunity for America’s workforce through education, training, and upskilling. Salesforce Ventures’ support has helped us sharpen our approach and the resources to innovate and scale our work,” said Rachel Carlson, CEO & Co-Founder, Guild Education.
“We find ourselves confronting four crises: economic, racial justice, health, and rapidly accelerating climate change. We need enlightened business leadership now more than ever,” said Donnel Baird, CEO of BlocPower. “BlocPower partners with Salesforce to help identify, analyze, and track tens of thousands of urban buildings that need clean energy, which creates jobs, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps to create economic savings in historically disadvantaged communities. We are proud that Salesforce Ventures is lending their business acumen to increase investment in solving these intersecting problems.”
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“Salesforce Ventures invested in Unite Us during a critical growth year, helping us advance our mission to electronically connect health and social care providers in communities across the nation,” said Dan Brillman, co-founder and CEO of Unite Us. “They backed our vision of ensuring communities efficiently coordinate and deliver essential wraparound services that improve people’s health and well-being. The Salesforce Ventures Impact Fund deeply supports companies transforming systems and improving people’s lives, every single day.”
“We set out on a mission to support 1 million underrepresented SMBs nationwide; these are the Next Wave Entrepreneurs who are going to drive our economy forward. To have a mission-aligned partner in Salesforce Ventures has been an integral piece in helping us continue the work we’re doing to deliver on that promise,” said Melissa Bradley, Co-Founder at Ureeka.
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. The Global Impact Investing Network states that despite recent headwinds, impact investors hold a positive outlook for the future, and estimates the market size at $715 billion, up more than 40 percent from last year.
In 2017, Salesforce Ventures introduced its first $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.
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