SAP spinout Sapphire Ventures raises $1.4B for new investments

Kate Clark

Sapphire Ventures, the former corporate venture arm of SAP, has raised $1.4 billion for growth investments, including a $150 million opportunity fund to support larger deals.

The firm, which focuses primarily on enterprise tech companies in the U.S., Europe and Israel, writes checks to Series B through pre-IPO businesses. Its portfolio includes 23andMe, Sumo Logic and TransferWise.

The new funds brings Sapphire Ventures, which became independent from the German software company SAP in 2011, assets under management to north of $4 billion. Sapphire will write checks sized between $5 million and $100 million with the new funds, allowing the team "to do any financing we need to or want to," chief executive officer and managing director Nino Marakovic tells TechCrunch. Sapphire's fourth growth fund is the firm's largest to date, at more than double the size of their $700 million Fund III. 

"We need this fund because companies are staying private much longer because they want to get to a $200 million revenue run rate before they go public," Sapphire Ventures president and co-founder Jai Das (pictured) tells TechCrunch. "We want to have the capital to support these companies as they keep growing."

News of the fund comes nearly one year after Sapphire Ventures lassoed $115 million from new limited partners to invest at the intersection of tech, sports, media and entertainment. Sapphire Sport has ties to the sports industry, from City Football Group, which owns English Premier League team Manchester City, to Adidas, the owners of the Indiana Pacers, New York Jets, San Jose Sharks and Tampa Bay Lightning, among others.

Before that, the firm closed on $1 billion for its third flagship venture fund.

With seven check writers and another seven investment professionals focused on growth-stage investments, Sapphire has had a number of recent wins, counting a total of 21 initial public offerings and 55 exits since the firm's inception.

"We’re excited to have now reached critical mass with $4 billion under management," Marakovic said. "We are the right size to take advantage of our target area of early and later-stage enterprise software companies. We are innovating on the model by adding value-add LPs and trying to align our whole model of services to the target companies to serve them as best as possible."