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ORLANDO, Fla.—SAP AG announced at its annual Sapphire user conference a $125 million venture capital fund for expanding development around its NetWeaver platform.

The SAP NetWeaver Fund is geared toward ISVs that are or will be “Powered by NetWeaver” partners actively developing on SAP’s platform.

The NetWeaver Fund is, interestingly, also aimed at helping SAP suss out acquisition targets.

SAP is trying to persuade customers to move from R/3 to MySAP ERP. Click here to read more.

“Of the thousands of ISVs we work with, we will probably certify hundreds on NetWeaver. They will go through a very rigorous test around the quality of their product, the quality of integration [to NetWeaver],” said Shai Agassi, an SAP executive board member during a May 17 press conference here. “We will have a close relationship with each, and we might acquire a few of them.”

Agassi said the fund will focus on supporting and bringing along those ISVs intent on building either horizontal or vertical process-based applications that leverage SAP’s ESA (Enterprise Services Architecture).

Each investment in an ISV will likely also bring in additional venture firms, though SAP is not specifying which ones those might be.

The time horizon is similar to that of a traditional venture fund: SAP is looking for a seven-year return on investment, with one or two investment rounds.

The fund is paid for out of SAP’s corporate development funds. It will be led by Zia Yusuf, executive vice president of platform ecosystem at SAP, and Jim Mackey, senior vice president of corporate finance.

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