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BUSINESS SOFTWARE

Salesforce.com, Bay Partners and Bessemer To Fund Start-Ups

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Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) has teamed up with venture-capital firms Bay Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners to help fund developers and start-up companies that have built business application using Salesforce.com's Force.com Platform-as-a-Service.

Over the next three years, the new funding program will raise some $25 million to assist these start-ups, awarding at least $500,000 to each. Force.com Platform-as-a-Service enables developers to build and automatically deploy business applications as a service to small teams or entire enterprises. The new program will not only help fund new projects but also add the venture firms' investment and business expertise to each one.

"Under the traditional software model, entrepreneurs and start-ups have had to deal with the burden of infrastructure before they can begin developing their ideas," Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, said in a statement. Force.com and Salesforce.com's AppExchange provide an application development and global distribution model to quickly bring any idea to market, Benioff said.

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