Telecom company Orange is making some changes to its venture capital arm. Orange Ventures is becoming a separate legal entity and Orange itself is allocating $430 million (€350 million).
With this new corporate structure, Orange could attract third-party investors in its fund. Other telecom companies have made some headlines with their venture funds in the past, such as SoftBank’s Vision Fund and Reliance Jio.
Separating Orange Ventures from Orange is also going to boost confidence when it comes to confidentiality and conflicts of interest between a startup and the telecom company. There’s a more visible firewall between Orange and Orange Ventures.
But if you want to partner with Orange, there are some opportunities on the table — the company says those synergies are “flexible and optional”.
Orange Ventures focuses on investments in companies that operate more or less in the same space as Orange. It includes many verticals, such as connectivity, cybersecurity, fintech and e-health. Previous investments include Monzo, Luko, Raisin, YouVerify and WeaveWorks.
Orange Ventures currently has offices in Paris and Dakar and tends to invest in startups from seed stage up to Series A or B. The firm says it can invest as much as €20 million in a single round. It is screening startups in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the U.S. There are around 20 people working for Orange Ventures.