Salesforce launches $50m SI Trailblazer Fund

Salesforce has launched a $50 million SI Trailblazer Fund to boost its partner ecosystem.

Salesforce Ventures has announced the launch of a $50 million SI Trailblazer Fund and SI Trailblazer Alliance Initiative aimed at assisting cloud consulting firms to build out and scale their Salesforce services and capabilities.

Portfolio companies will receive a combination of capital, mentorship, tools, and training around sales, marketing, and system integration. The new fund has already invested in 7Summits, Arxxus, and ATG.

The CRM giant said its consulting partners are seeing their Salesforce practices grow more than 50 percent annually and that growing demand is also creating a need for new partners that can provide additional skilled capacity to deploy the full family of Salesforce offerings to customers.

"Consulting firms play a pivotal role in the Salesforce ecosystem, implementing Salesforce solutions that meet the needs of customers of all sizes, industries, and geographies," John Somorjai, EVP of Corporate Development and Salesforce Ventures, said in a statement.

The news comes a month after Salesforce launched a new AppExchange partner program in an effort to bring more developers into the company's $389 billion app economy.

With the new partner program, Salesforce said it was looking to reduce friction for would-be developers by implementing a new business model, onboarding experience, and platform technology.

The CRM giant simultaneously announced a new $100 million Salesforce Platform Fund in May aimed at accelerating the development of artificial intelligence-powered applications and components on the Salesforce platform.

The company has been boosting its AI capabilities, integrating its "Einstein AI" technology with its various clouds as an add-on in March this year. It also launched Einstein Vision, a set of APIs that allow developers to bring image recognition to customer relationship management and build AI-powered apps.

Salesforce Ventures has thus far invested in 20 system integrators, 14 of which have been acquired, including Bluewolf, which was acquired by IBM for about $200 million in March last year, and Appirio, which was acquired for $500 million six months later by IT services company Wipro.

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