To accelerate development of applications running on its NetWeaver integration platform, SAP has launched a US$125 million venture fund to invest in software development companies.
The NetWeaver fund is a way of establishing a closer engagement with a limited number of ISVs (independent software vendors), of which a few could eventually be acquired by SAP, Chief Executive Officer Henning Kagermann said Wednesday. The announcement came during a news conference at the company's Sapphire customer event in Orlando.
More than 1,000 ISVs are currently developing applications to run on NetWeaver, a technology crucial to enabling SAP's Web services-based Enterprise Services Architecture. So far, developers have created more than 1,500 applications.
Through its targeted investments, SAP aims not only to spur the development of more applications but also identify software development companies that could be later acquired and help fill expertise gaps in the company's technology portfolio, according to Kagermann.
The fund, financed out of SAP's corporate development budget, will be managed by Zia Yusuf, executive vice president of platform ecosystems, and Jim Mackey, senior vice president of corporate finance.
SAP Ventures, a separate arm, also invests in startups but its focus is emerging technologies.
Sapphire runs through Thursday.