PARIS, Friday, February 12, 2016: The Group’s corporate venture vehicle confirms its ambition to explore the most disruptive digital innovations that transform our customers’ digital experience. After one year of existence, Orange Digital Ventures now has a portfolio of nine start-ups, making it one of France’s most dynamic corporate ventures.
• DataMi is a key-player in “sponsored data”. It provides advertisers, businesses and service vendors with a solution that allows them to increase visibility around their products and services on mobile sites and applications, while funding end users’ mobile data consumption. This solution is based on an innovative monetization platform that allows operators to dynamically integrate usage into the billing in a similar way to a toll-free number This model opens up a wide range of applications such as sponsored access to mobile sites, “data reward” offers, contextualized mobile advertising, or BYOD (“Bring Your Own Device”), all of which will give customers more freedom to benefit from the power of 4G.
Orange Digital Ventures participated in a fund raising round of 10 million dollars, that will allow DataMi to finance its growth on all continents, particularly in areas of rapid growth in terms of adoption of the mobile Internet, with the aim of becoming a leader in smart mobile monetisation.
• KissKissBankBank Technologies is the French leader in crowdfunding. The young start-up offers three online platforms, each in response to different funding requirements: KissKissBankBank offers individuals the possibility of helping artists or young designers finance their projects in exchange for non-financial compensation; Hellomerci is the leading player in peer-to-peer lending for solidarity projects and associations; and Lendopolis is an innovative platform for loans to companies from individuals and corporations, compensated with annual interest rates of between 5% and 12%. In a fast-growing crowdfunding market throughout Europe, KissKissBankBank draws on collective intelligence and web-based solidarity to respond quickly and efficiently to individuals’ or businesses’ financing requirements. Orange Digital Ventures is the lead investor in a programme to raise 5.3 million euros in KissKissBankBank alongside Xange and private investors. These resources will enable the start-up to accelerate its growth in the highly dynamic French crowd-lending market. For more information: http://www.kisskissbankbank.com/en
• Veniam combines the deployment of very high-speed Internet and smart city services in a new “Internet of objects in movement” concept. Through this service, connected urban vehicle fleets become agents of a meshed connected network deployed in real time across cities, extending Internet access and enabling the collection and real-time analysis of environmental data from connected sensors. Orange Digital Ventures, alongside Verizon Ventures and Cisco, participated in a 22 million-dollar fund raising round, thanks to which Veniam will be able to expand its concept – already operational in Porto – to every continent, and particularly in London, New York and Singapore.
• Wevr has developed a video-hosting platform for virtual reality (VR), which gives content creators the possibility of distributing and monetising their virtual reality experiences. This new form of content, which lies at the crossroads of video games and cinema, will be accessible on all smartphones as well as the virtual reality headsets: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PS VR, Samsung Gear, Google Cardboard…
The content offered will be produced by Hollywood studios, independent studios as well as Wevr itself, which has also developed a VR engine designed to facilitate the creation of immersive videos. As such, Wevr has won several awards for the quality of its VR experiences.
With more than 25 million dollars raised to date from investors such as HTC, Samsung, AME Cloud Ventures (Jerry Yang), Digital Garage (Joi Ito) and now Orange Digital Ventures, the Californian start-up Wevr plans to become the leading platform for the distribution of VR content, in particular by associating with the highly active and creative community of independent producers.
Pierre Louette, Chief Executive Officer Delegate and President of Orange Digital Ventures commented: “The announcement of these four new investments illustrates Orange Digital Ventures’ ability to participate in major international fund-raising rounds alongside major players in the industry, placing it among the most dynamic corporate ventures in France. We are very proud to support DataMi, KissKissBankBank, Veniam and Wevr that embody, each in their own way, some of the most disruptive innovations available both in our preferred investment areas as well as in more exploratory fields.”
About Orange Digital Ventures
Orange Digital Ventures identifies and funds early-stage start-ups during their initial development. With 20 million Euros earmarked for its first year, Orange Digital Ventures proceeds by making investments via minority holdings. The focus of is on financing those start-ups working on the new and next transformations of the telecoms and digital sectors, through innovation, disruptive technologies or new business models. Orange Digital Ventures will support in particular start-ups in the fields of new Connectivities, Enterprise Cloud and data, the Internet of Things, and Fintech, from any geographical area.
Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 39 billion euros in 2014 and 157,000 employees worldwide at 30 September 2015, including 98,000 employees in France. Present in 28 countries, the Group has a total customer base of 263 million customers worldwide at 30 September 2015, including 200 million mobile customers and 18 million fixed broadband customers. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. In March 2015, the Group presented its new strategic plan “Essentials2020” which places customer experience at the heart of its strategy with the aim of allowing them to benefit fully from the digital universe and the power of its new generation networks.
Orange is listed on Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol ORAN). For more information on the internet and on your mobile: www.orange.com, www.orange-business.com, www.livetv.orange.com or to follow us on Twitter: @presseorange. Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trademarks of Orange or Orange Brand Services Limited.