Search giant, Google has announced a partnership with Orange Digital Ventures, which serves as the corporate venture fund of the French carrier Orange. The partnership would be aimed at finding, funding, and potentially acquiring startups in the EMEA region. Areas like Internet of things, cybersecurity, cloud services, AI, fintech and connectivity solutions would be focused on.
While there are no specifics yet as to financials, the partners have confirmed that investments could potentially be made at any stage, from seed to growth, depending on the startup in question.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Marc Rennard, the CEO of Orange Digital Ventures (ODV) states , “Our goal is to join forces in financing the most promising digital startups. We will then work together to qualify them, and when a common interest is there, we will join forces to invest in them.”
He also thinks that the partnership would be a mutually beneficial one, saying that, “From time to time, it’s difficult to have a place at the table. When a startup decides to call for investors, they might cover all their needs from others, without any possibility of us entering too. But with Google plus Orange, I think the company will think twice before rejecting us, so it may help us.”
Carlo d’Asaro Biondo, EMEA President of Google Partnerships, who released a statement, said that, “We are delighted to support Orange’s ecosystem of start-ups and innovation and to explore alongside them opportunities for co-investment in Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EMEA). Orange’s ecosystem is consistent with Google’s know-how and our ability to accelerate the growth of start-ups. This partnership is a way to enhance our collective contribution to innovation in this region.”
By virtue of this partnership, we are hoping that the ecosystem in Europe, Middle East and Africa gets much better. Even if Google has been a prolific investor in startups across the globe by way of entities like GV and CapitalG, this one’s more focused outside of the U.S and is an all party beneficial partnership.