Bay Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners have teamed up with Salesforce to invest $25 million in businesses building on the recently announced Force.com application platform over the next three years. Investments will be around $500,000 each (some convertible notes). However, others may go as high as $2 million depending on the company’s stage and needs. The investments are a boon to the evolving Force platform and sure to lessen the appeal for a host of other database-driven application platforms.
The partnership will provide Bay and Bessemer early leads to new companies and Saleforce’s assistance during due dillegence. Bay and Bessemer were attracted to the platform due to Salesforce’s existing 35,000 customer base and 50,000 developers. Force.com already has 350 partners with 725 applications as well.
Bay looks to be taking the lead in the program and will be leveraging their significant experience SaaS investments. They have already invested in many Appexchange integrated companies (Xactly, Eloqua, Cornerstone, eProject) and are looking to get in earlier this time around. Notably, Bay has also invested in Facebook’s platform by setting aside funds for 50 investments (they’ve closed three).
The investment program has been underway over the past couple of months. Bay has been looking at 12 deals and already committed to one. The deals are judged on a case by case basis. Although, they will be looking for fully developed products, with strong metrics (revenue, customer stickiness).
The Force.com venture program is being led by Neil Sadaranganey and Salil Deshpande from Bay Parntners and Byron Deeter from Bessemer Venture Partners. Companies interesting in learning more about the program can send inquires to firstname.lastname@example.org.