As we’ve all witnessed over the last few years, .IO has become a go-to domain name extension for the startup world. Today I found another interesting use for the domain extension, a way for a large multi-billion dollar company like SAP to brand their own Venture Fund and Accelerator programs (which they call Foundries).
While SAP could of course just use something like SAP.com/Venture or SAP.com/Startups, they’ve built an entire brand around SAP.IO. And it sounds like they had a pretty busy 2019 – here’s a quick recap from their site:
2019 was a banner year for the SAP.iO Fund & Foundries. We supported 92 startups through our unique mix of early-stage startup investment and acceleration, as we build the next-gen ecosystem that will help SAP deliver the intelligent enterprise and enable customers to win in their markets, today.
We invested in 11 new startups from the SAP.iO Fund, and made follow-on investments in more than 5 other companies. We accelerated 81 startups across our global network of 8 SAP.iO Foundries, including 4 new SAP.iO Foundries in EMEA and Asia. Additionally, we launched SAP.iO No Boundaries – our industry-leading commitment to support underrepresented founders in B2B software.
Our approach is resonating. More than 300 customers visited SAP.iO Foundries to see first-hand how SAP is delivering on its commitment to innovation and get connected to the most relevant startups who could quickly provide value, especially in an existing SAP environment. More than 237 press articles were written about SAP.iO Fund & Foundries, including features in the New York Times, CNBC, and Nikkei Asian Review. And, we were recognized as a “Top VC for Women” and a Top 2 Corporate Startup Star in Europe.(Source – SAP.IO)
I think it’s great to see such a big multi-billion dollar Enterprise company supporting startups, and in so many different ways. It’s also interesting to see them use a .IO domain to brand their startup-focused Ventures rather than adding a section onto their existing website. Personally, I think we’re going to see more and more companies do this as time goes on.
Well done SAP! 👏