Orange has launched a new funding vehicle for start-ups - Digital Ventures - to further expand its digital innovation strategy. According to Orange, it has earmarked 20 million Euros for the program's first year.
The early stage investment program will identify and fund start-ups during their initial development as well as provide the strategic relationships needed for them to become valuable companies. The focus of Orange Digital Ventures is on financing those start-ups working on new and next transformations of the telecoms and digital sectors. Orange Digital Ventures will support in particular start-ups in the fields of communication, connectivity, the cloud, payment, the Internet of Things and big data, e-Health and security services.
Orange intends to leverage its already active role in the global digital ecosystem, and through these new investments gets closer to companies that are agile at grasping and acting on technology shifts vital to the creation of tomorrow’s digital services.
Orange said that as an investor and catalyst, it will benefit participating start-ups through its international commercial footprint and its reputation. It added that entrepreneurs will be able to develop technical or commercial relationships through access to Orange experts and decision-makers. This new approach aims to reinforce existing Orange open innovation initiatives, like Orange Fab, while also allowing the support of new companies in their ramp-up phases.