Palo Alto based Sapphire Ventures, owned by SAP, secures $1 Billion to invest in a new $700 Million growth fund and a $300 Million tech fund.
Following on the heels of a large group of venture groups – including Lightspeed Ventures Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Accel Partners, Founders Fund, and Andreessen Horowitz – Sapphire Ventures joins the circle raising $1 Billion plus in 2016.
Like Wells Fargo and Norwest, Sapphire, along with limited partner SAP do not consider themselves corporate venture, but rather classic venture firms who do not invest by funding companies that can be sold to their partners.
Sapphire became an independent unit in 2011, and has subsequently funded 14 companies which have already moved from private to public and includes familiar names like Apigee, Box, and Square. In addition, Sapphire funded 33 acquisitions including the wildly popular LinkedIn.
Sapphire targets companies with a minimum of $5 million in revenue and invests in startups providing funds of up to $25 million.
The day is nearly upon you – a tweet orders your favorite pizza, your Apple Watch places your Buy Stock transaction, you automatically add the song playing in your favorite restaurant to your Spotify playlist. That’s right – as your favorite brands adopt the latest mobile app technology to further engage you – App Downloads in the next four years will likely top 280 billion according to the latest prediction by App Annie.
At the end of 2015, worldwide app downloads topped the 112 billion mark, 50 percent of which are attributed to Asian markets, according to App Annie’s latest statistics. App Annie’s forecasts for 2016 include a rise to near 150 billion, with more than half from Asian markets. The final prediction for the year 2020, indicates downloads near 288 billion – Asia’s share estimated at 60 percent of that total.
Of course, App Annie offers this sound advice; downloads are just the beginning of monetization, usage follows with customer engagement and retention.
App Annie, founded in Beijing, knows the reality of exploding app market and features a global team spanning a multitude of countries and cultures delivering solutions to today’s greatest data challenges.
As the app market expands, App Annie notes that in only two years, the app marketplace has grown over 100 percent. People, all over the world, from the U.S. to Indonesia, and everywhere in between, spend 51 minutes of every hour on their mobile devices in apps and that number is quickly rising.
Games apps are no longer the biggest player in the app world as communication apps growth is at 100 percent, social apps at 120 percent growth, and video/media apps are growing at a whopping 200 percent.
The exponential growth does not stop there, global businesses are utilizing apps for marketing and sales of new products and services, and expanding into ticket sales, support services, and media streaming. Banking is poised for exceptional growth as sessions in the top banking apps as banks realize, not only is the service popular among the under 25 crowd, but older users are attracted to the convenience as well. For banks this means huge cost savings with fewer outlets and employees, allowing them to compete more effectively with mobile only financial tech start-ups.
Alongside banking, retail establishments and restaurants, are also poised for incredible growth in the years ahead.
While today, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Facebook rank among the highest used apps worldwide, Snapchat, Uber, Google Maps, and a vast array of retail and commercial apps are leading the way for the app revolution to come – 280 billion downloads strong.
Enormous growth is forecasted by the industry including a prediction that Snapchat advertising revenues will reach $1 Billion by 2017 increasing from this year’s estimate of $366 million. Snapchat has proved successful in it capability to reach millennials with a broad advertising portfolio and subsequently targeted ads.
The 2016 estimates are above Snapchat’s own goals which were near $350 million, a goal that was up seven percent from the previous year. The incredible $1 billion prediction from industry leaders is in line with Snapchat’s own predicted revenues of as much as $1 billion.
As Snapchat continues the growth of its advertising business with the addition of Snapchat partners, which allows advertising to be sold by third parties, permits a wider base of video advertising and sponsored spots. Generating 43 percent of Snapchat’s ad revenues in the United States is Snapchat’s Discover feature, though its Stories feature is following with a close second at nearly 38 percent. Currently the U.S. market accounts for 95 percent of its advertising revenues, though estimates indicate 25 percent of advertising revenues will be global by 2018.
Snapchat is poised for even greater growth, because it is expert at reaching a younger demographic including young millennials and Gen Z, which attracts many businesses. The challenge faced by Snapchat is convincing these businesses that their return on investment is greater than its competitors.