The governments of Canada and Ontario weren’t the only ones with an extra hop in their step today at the Communitech Hub. Tom Jenkins, the founder of Waterloo-based OpenText, announced a $100 million fund for the development of enterprise applications called the “OpenText Enterprise Applications Fund” (OTEAF).
“The reason this is important to us is there’s a financial economics side, there’s a social will and good side and all those things are important, but we want to massively grow the ecosystem for applications here in Canada,” said Jenkins.
OpenText will be the lead co-investor in the new fund along with general partners Richard Black and Luc Filiatreault. Limited partners will include various Canadian corporations, funds and other entities. It’s expected to close in mid-2014 and its designed to fund the “next generation of enterprise apps.”
OpenText is the “leader in enterprise information management”, and manages, secures and leverages unstructured data for large companies through platforms, applications and analytics. They currently have over 100,000 clients in many different industries, half a billion end-users and facilitate 16 billion transactions a year from its cloud infrastructure.
More specifically the company provides its clients with enterprise content management (ECM) software, which helps manage information, business process management (BPM) software, which helps empower employees and customer experience management (CEM) software, which helps to create solid customer interaction experiences. It also facilitates efficient, secure, and compliant exchange of information and can help visualize all relevant enterprise information.
Jenkins said that over the next five years the company would be spending $2 billion in research and development costs, so the fund seems to make sense as OpenText pursues the title of top dog in the enterprise information management. In addition, OpenText recently launched its own “AppWorks” developer platform that accelerates enterprise-grade apps time-to-market.
“Today’s announcement addresses a gap in our innovation system in Canada,” said Jenkins. “This is a positive step to support Canadian entrepreneurial activity and drive the creation of new, high-quality jobs and opportunities in the digital economy.”