Enterprise software giant SAP announced that it's launching SAP.iO, an investment fund aimed at early-stage software startups utilizing SAP's platforms, data, or APIs.
The fund will start with an initial investment of $35 million. The first startup to receive funding is San Jose-based Parable Sciences, a machine learning analytics company also known as Paradata. Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed, but SAP said it plans to allot roughly $250,000 to a chosen startup's seed round.
In addition to the SAP.iO fund, SAP is also launching SAP.iO Foundry, a set of startup incubators slated for Berlin, San Francisco, New York City, and Tel Aviv.
"SAP.iO will create a new ecosystem to help accelerate digital transformation for our 350,000 customers," said SAP CEO Bill McDermott in a statement. "We have a message for entrepreneurs: if you have a bold dream to solve one of the world's most significant challenges, join us and let's chase your dream together."
Looking at the bigger picture, SAP is hoping these new startup endeavors will expand its software and technology ecosystem -- particularly around the areas of machine learning, big data, and IoT. SAP has really only just started to talk about machine learning and AI at a time when rivals and the broader enterprise technology ecosystem have dominated the conversation.
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