Telefónica to invest in Israeli startups

20 October 2014 |

Telefónica has partnered with innovation developer VLX Ventures with the intention of investing in startup companies across Israel.

The collaboration is expected to focus on firms in a range of telecoms verticals, including video, cloud-computing, big data, the Internet of Things, smart homes and wearable technology.

In partnership with VLX Ventures, Telefónica will offer investment capital to these companies, helping them scale their products and services to the Spanish operator’s 300 million customers worldwide.

“As a digital telco, Telefónica invests in many forward-thinking companies around the globe and as a country packed full of world-leading talent and innovative companies, Israel is the perfect place for us to increase our investment potential,” said Doron Shpasser, head of investments and partnerships at Telefónica in Israel.

“We are constantly evaluating advanced technologies and this partnership with VLX Ventures allows us to strengthen potential collaborations with young Israeli technology companies operating in areas that are of interest to Telefónica.”

With a presence in Israel since 2010, Telefónica is now looking to intensify its activity in the country, and in June 2013, joined Israel’s office of the chief scientist (OCS) in a ministry of industry, trade and labor global enterprise R&D co-operation framework.

“Joining forces with Telefónica is strategic for Israeli startups and supplies them with all the support that a leading innovation incubator can provide, combined with a partnership with a leading strategic global company,” said Ori Choshen, CEO at VLX Ventures. “Our goal is to put together several joint investments every year and to continue to expand our collaboration from year to year.”

The agreement is also part of Telefónica’s Open Future programme, the global platform which supports the company’s investment initiatives, such as Wayra which was launched in April 2011.