Orange, Google team up to raise start-ups in Africa
Mobile operator Orange has inked a co-investment deal with American multinational technology company Google to strengthen the start-up ecosystem in Africa, reports Disrupt Africa.
The deal that will see startups sourced through Orange’s investment fund, Orange Digital Ventures (ODV), also covers innovators across Europe and the Middle East.
The start-ups will be jointly evaluated for co-investment by ODV and Google, according to Disrupt Africa.
Stéphane Richard, the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Orange says the initiative will mainly focus on start-ups operating in the fields of new connectivities, internet of things (IoT), cybersecurity, cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), fintech among other new business models in the aforementioned regions.
Speaking to media, Richard said through this partnership, they intend to “reinforce Orange Digital Ventures’ “Smart Money” value-proposition by offering entrepreneurs with whom we work much more than just financing.”
The collaboration will feature regular coordination meetings between the management teams of the two companies in order to examine investment opportunities.
“We are delighted to support Orange’s ecosystem of startups and innovation and to explore alongside them opportunities for co-investment in Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EMEA),” said Carlo d’Asaro Biondo, EMEA president of Google Partnerships as quoted by Disrupt Africa.”
(EMEA is short for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.)
“Orange’s ecosystem is consistent with Google’s know-how and our ability to accelerate the growth of startups. This partnership is a way to enhance our collective contribution to innovation in this region.”