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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags LinkedInSAPsocial networking

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

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?