Orange Digital Ventures has announced the launch of a new US$55 million (€50 million) investment vehicle for African startups.
The new vehicle, known as Orange Digital Ventures Africa, is an Africa-focused section of its flagship programme for investment in startups, Orange Digital Ventures.
Orange Digital Ventures was launched in 2015 and armed with €20 million to identify and finance startups working on the new and next transformations of the telecoms and digital sectors.
This new vehicle will fund early-stage innovation projects in Africa in areas such as new connectivities, Fintech, the Internet of Things (IoT), energy and e-health.
Its objective is to target startups offering responses to Africa’s fundamental challenges while leveraging the operator’s assets on the continent. This support will be extended to all innovative African startups irregardless of their location.
“Since the beginning of Orange Digital Ventures, the new services and business models in Africa have been one of the priority investment themes of our corporate venture business. With this announcement, we are engaging a bit further alongside the African digital ecosystem, which like everywhere else and maybe even more than elsewhere carries with it a development challenge,” said Pierre Louette, Deputy CEO of Orange and Chairman of Orange Digital Ventures.
This coming September, a dedicated team for the new investment vehicle will be setup and based in Dakar, Senegal. The team can be contacted DigitalVentures.orange.com.
Orange will use the new investment vehicle to strengthen its corporate venture strategy in Africa, and support its existing innovations such as Orange Fabs in Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Senegal, and the Orange Social Venture Prize.