Wednesday, 14 June 2017

FRENCH TELECOM GIANT UNVEILS ORANGE DIGITAL VENTURES AFRICA

orange digital ventures africa
French telecoms giant, Orange, has announced that it has launched an African section under its flagship investment subsidiary, Orange Digital Ventures.

The new section, which is called Orange Digital Ventures Africa, will be the group’s investment vehicle for early-stage projects in Africa in areas such as new “connectivities”, fintech, the Internet of Things, energy, and e-health.

As part of the initiative, Orange said it is committing €50 million, corresponding to half of the direct investments to be made via the new programme; the other half will be devoted to indirect investments through specialized funding for Africa.

“Since the beginning of Orange Digital Ventures, the new services and business models in Africa have been one of the priority investment themes of our corporate venture business,” said Pierre Louette, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Orange and Chairman of Orange Digital Ventures. “With this announcement, we are engaging a bit further alongside the African digital ecosystem, which like everywhere else and maybe even more than elsewhere carries with it a development challenge.”

Orange Digital Ventures Africa is designed to target start-ups offering responses to Africa’s fundamental challenges, while leveraging the group’s assets on the continent. Orange said its investment will cover all innovative start-ups, whether they are based geographically in Africa or they address African issues from another continent.

Orange said a dedicated team based in Dakar will be set up in September for the new programme. The new initiative complements Orange’s existing innovation initiatives in Africa, including the Orange Fabs in Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Senegal and BIG in Jordan aimed at facilitating partnerships with the start-ups; and the Orange Social Venture Prize recognizing social entrepreneurs in Africa.

Orange has been on an acquisition spree in Africa’s fast growing telecoms market as part of a strategy to boost its revenue given the saturated and static markets in Europe – the company’s home continent.

The French telecoms giant has so far expanded its African operations to 21 countries, including Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Niger, Mali, Tunisia, Kenya, Egypt. In 2016, Orange said revenue at its African subsidiaries reached €5.2 billion, which is 12 percent of the group’s total revenue. (Financial Nigeria)