Salesforce Ventures, the company’s global investment arm, unveiled their Japan Trailblazer Fund at the end of 2018. This fund aims to help startups that are part of Salesforce’s ecosystem. The fund has a dedicated $100 million in capital available for investing on Japanese startups.
The Japan Trailblazer Fund is the first dedicated fund made by the company in Asia. It aims to support new businesses providing enterprise cloud capabilities to Salesforce customers. This is in line with the estimated expansion of the Japanese public cloud services market that would eventually reach $13 billion by 2022.
An addition to Salesforce Ventures’ existing funds
The Japan Trailblazer Fund is not a new undertaking for Salesforce Ventures. The global investment arm already created similar funds for other regions, countries, and industries. Such funds include investments for startups in Canada, Israel, Australia, and European countries that target cloud and customer relationship services. There are also funds geared towards developing artificial intelligence, transformative apps, next generation mobile apps, and workforce development technologies.
The fund is, in fact, only an addition to their investments in the country. Since 2011, Salesforce Ventures have backed 40 startup businesses in the country. This number is a significant portion of the 280 startups they backed to date.
Existing Salesforce investments in Japan
Salesforce Ventures have already invested in various Japanese startups even before the introduction of the fund. These startups include recruitment and talent management company BizReach, cloud accounting software freee, business card-based CRM and social network SanSan, and cloud systems integrator TerraSky.
Salesforce is not alone in expanding their reach and changing the previously stale tech investment climate in the country. Other American tech companies are also opening new business, backing startups, investing in existing tech companies, and holding major conferences in Japan. The most prominent of these companies include Amazon Web Services and Google.