SAP invests in LinkedIn

SAP has sunk money into LinkedIn, but it's unclear exactly what SAP has in mind with the investment.

SAP's venture capital arm has sunk an undisclosed sum of money into LinkedIn, the business-oriented social-networking site.

While there are obvious parallels between the two companies, particularly the current and potential new SAP customers among LinkedIn's reported 30 million-plus members, it's too soon to know exactly what SAP has in mind, observers said Thursday.

"Bear in mind SAP Ventures is somewhat independent of the mothership -- the investment doesn't necessarily mean SAP is looking at a potential future acquisition," said James Governor, an analyst with Redmonk. "However, SAP is clearly thinking about changing notions of identity, community, knowledge and 2.0, especially given the Business Objects acquisition."

451 Group analyst China Martens said there's clearly a way for SAP to connect its software offerings with LinkedIn.

"There's interest among CRM [customer relationship management] players to find ways to prefill their systems with content -- LinkedIn could help there -- as well as on the HR side," Martens said. "Also, all CRM players are keen to push the social-networking side of CRM ... There could be something of this too."

However, Martens noted that SAP Ventures has made a variety of "very good bets on interesting companies in recent years," including on open-source companies like content-management player Alfresco and BI (business intelligence) vendor Jaspersoft.

At least for now, SAP is saying little about how its relationship with LinkedIn may evolve.

"Part of our overall venture strategy is to invest selectively and prudently in smart, leading technology companies," said spokesman Saswato Das.

SAP has no immediate plans regarding LinkedIn beyond its financial investment, Das said.

LinkedIn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

SAP's stake is part of a US$22.7 million pot raised by LinkedIn. Other investors in the funding round include McGraw-Hill and Goldman Sachs.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags LinkedInSAPsocial networking

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?