SAP Ventures to invest in start-up WebEx

The German giant will tomorrow announce an investment in the meeting software start-up, and plans to incorporate the technology into business portal.

Stefanie Olsen Staff writer, CNET News
Stefanie Olsen covers technology and science.
Stefanie Olsen
SAP Ventures will announce tomorrow that it is investing in meeting software start-up WebEx, and the company plans to incorporate WebEx technology into business portal mySAP.com.

Representatives from WebEx said SAP Ventures--the venture arm of German business software maker SAP AG--has invested between $1 million and $5 million in WebEx. WebEx is also expected to announce tomorrow a $26 million Series D round of funding from investors including SAP, Yahoo and Tibco.

The deal comes as the market for business-to-business services ramps up. It also follows speculation that SAP faces slowing revenues because of its weakened online strategy. Shares in SAP fell sharply today after a roadshow in the United States pointed to waning enthusiasm for its Web business.

Through the proposed partnership, mySAP.com will offer a cobranded area on its site for its business-to-business customers to set up and conduct meetings through WebEx.

WebEx's software lets people conduct Web-based meetings enhanced by phone conferencing, audio and video. Attendees can share documents on their computers, browse the Web together and annotate Web sites with full view by all participants.

WebEx has partnerships with more than 1,000 online companies, most of which are business-to-business upstarts, including Buzzsaw.com.

Through mySAP.com, launched last September, SAP hopes to expand its stake in the business-to-business e-commerce market, competing with such players as Commerce One, Ariba and Oracle.

WebEx raised $25 million in a third round of funding in December from NEA, Walden Ventures, Summit and Oracle, among others.