France?s Orange said that it has partnered with search engine giant Google through the company?s venture capital arm, Orange Digital Ventures (ODV), to explore investment opportunities in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)
ODV and Google will look at start-up companies in areas such as new connectivities, IoT, cybersecurity, cloud, AI and fintech. They will also look to invest in companies with new business models in the Middle East and Africa.
Large legacy companies are increasingly looking to invest in up and coming products and businesses in areas such as IoT and AI, which are expected to see fast growth in coming years.
"We are very proud to announce this partnership which will enable start-ups supported by Orange Digital Ventures to explore potential co-investment opportunities with Google. Through this partnership, we stand to reinforce Orange Digital Ventures? ?Smart Money? value-proposition by offering entrepreneurs with whom we work much more than just financing," said St?phane Richard, CEO of Orange.
"We are delighted to support Orange's ecosystem of start-ups and innovation and to explore alongside them opportunities for co-investment in 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," said Carlo d?Asaro Biondo, EMEA president of Google Partnerships.