Orange to fund startups via Digital Ventures investment program

French telecom giant Orange says it will launch an early stage investment program aimed at supporting startups in the telecommunications and digital sectors. The new Orange Digital Ventures aims to identify and fund startups during their initial development as well as provide the strategic relationships needed for them to become successful.

French telecom giant Orange says it will launch an early stage investment program aimed at supporting startups in the telecommunications and digital sectors. The new Orange Digital Ventures aims to identify and fund startups during their initial development phase as well as provide the strategic relationships needed for them to become successful.

Orange has budgeted 20 million Euros for Digital Ventures' first year. The investment program will take minority holdings in the companies that participate in the program. Initial areas of interest include communication, connectivity, the cloud, payment, the Internet of Things and big data, e-health, and security services. The investment program will target companies in the geographic regions in which Orange operates.

The company promises what it described as "a simplified, rapid selection methodology" that will ensure a first response to interested startups in less than 30 days.

In addition to funding, Orange Digital Ventures will also provide guidance and contacts to the managers of the selected companies. The iniitiative will also reinforce other Orange technology development efforts, such as Orange Fab, a program designed to provide growth and distribution opportunities to young companies.

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