SAP invests €2bn for French fintech innovation ASAP
SAP will invest €2 billion in its operations in France over the next five years for its digital and innovation ambitions.
Its areas of interest include cloud, machine learning (ML), blockchain, the internet of things (IoT) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). It says all of this will be fuelled by the SAP Leonardo digital innovation system – which was launched last year.
In a glorious and outrageous name dropping exercise, Bill McDermott, CEO, SAP, says after a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, that his “bold embrace of the digital world will help France rise to an enviable position as a global innovation leader”.
Other grand ideas include opening the second SAP.iO Foundry location in Europe to provide more than 50 start-ups with mentorship, technology and access to its ecosystem.
The SAP.iO Fund will invest in French start-ups in the seed or Series A round. SAP will also provide €150 million in research and development annually over the next five years.
In addition, SAP will acquire Recast.AI to help develop its Leonardo machine learning capabilities. Financial details were not disclosed.
Recast.AI works with banks, insurance and tech companies. It provides an ML-based technical architecture and owns proprietary algorithms that understand natural language.
Recast.AI was founded in 2015, emerging from French coding school “42” – and is currently located at the incubator “Station F”.
The intention is to have applications speak to SAP software users in natural language. SAP created the SAP CoPilot digital assistant, a web application, and an in-house platform to build conversational applications. SAP intends to use this platform across its portfolio.