Supporting means enabling the start-ups identified to develop and get established, giving them access to experts providing human, material, and financial aid.
Keeping a good idea alive
The sphere of innovators is swarming with good ideas and the number of start-ups launching each year is constantly increasing. But an idea isn’t everything. Start-ups know that many obstacles lie ahead between the development and the fulfillment of their product.
Orange will provide the start-ups that it has chosen to back with multifaceted support that also responds to their funding requirements, technical expertise and human and material resources.
Orange meets the financing needs of the fledgling firms, whatever their level of maturity, via Orange Digital Investment. This entity, which was established in 2016, supports the Group’s investments with the aim of gaining both financial benefits and improving the products and services that Orange provides to its customers through these synergies. Orange Digital Investment brings together Orange’s investment activities in the start-ups:
- Fund of funds activity: it groups together our holdings in external funds which have their own investment strategy; the most well-known of these is Iris Capital, founded with Publicis, for which we announced an additional appropriation of €75 million at the end of last year.
- The Orange Digital Ventures internal fund is the Group’s investment vehicle; created in 2015, it is endowed with €100 million. Orange Digital Ventures’ investment themes are connected with the priorities of the Essentials2020 strategic plan (new connectivity, Internet of Things, Fintech, etc.). Equity investments, which are capped at €3 million, are validated by the Group.
- Corporate digital development activity: to identify opportunities and make a success out of acquisitions or major strategic investments in digital activities that are not part of the core business but that are used to reinforce the Orange promise: Deezer, DM, Africa Internet Group, etc.
- With more than €350 million under management, ODI is already among the top five most dynamic French corporate venture funds.
- Supporting the start-ups also means enabling them to move up a gear. The Orange Fab program offers the start-ups that it has selected mentoring and support for three months, which is provided through coaching by experts, privileged access to the Orange Fab international network, and the provision of co-working spaces…
Orange also offers technical support to the start-ups. The Orange Partner and Orange Developer programs provide developers from all over the world with 20 programming interfaces (or APIs) in self-service form, which they can use to think up and develop digital apps and services. There are also numerous resources for achieving their project aims, such as:
- development kits in the IoT domain (LoRa),
- a service for testing their products on Orange customer user panels,
- tutorials and content to support the use of APIs, etc.
Programs specifically for Africa
Because the start-up sector is particularly dynamic in Africa and crucial for regional development, in February 2016 Orange launched an information space dedicated to entrepreneurs in Africa and the Middle East: The Entrepreneur Club.
In Africa, our subsidiary Sonatel also has a holding in the Teranga Capital fund, 1er fonds de capital-risque sénégalais dédié aux PME innovantes.
Our support initiatives for start-ups
Orange Digital Ventures
Through this internal investment fund for financing fledgling firms, Orange keeps a constant eye on the world of start-ups. Many of them approach ODV to obtain funding.
By capitalizing on an international network, Orange Fab takes an interest in start-ups that have already developed a product or service, with the aim of giving them a boost.
Our dedicated offers for startups
Discover a wide range of solutions to get your startup into a higher gear : telecom and IT deals, dedicated resources and applications, etc… Our goal: to help you grow your business.
Orange Partner / Orange Developer
Orange gambles its assets on the development of small and large businesses alike. Its goal is to accelerate the creation of new services, within and outside Orange, to benefit its customers.
We also provide support in France via other channels
Partner of the Cité de l’Objet Connecté in Angers
The Cité de l’Objet Connecté in Angers is a unique place in France that unites the know-how of businesses, object manufacturers and developers who are working to design future services for the Internet of Things. Orange is one of the shareholders in this private company.
Residence at the Villa Bonne Nouvelle
The Villa Bonne Nouvelle is a corporate working space and also an Orange living HR (Human Relations) laboratory that is studying what impact digital technology will have on our methods of working.
Its challenge is to identify and characterize the changes in methods of management and functioning in a digital environment, and to do so in a completely collaborative and sharing environment. Specifically, a number of Orange project teams, start-ups and freelancers have gotten together in a 350 sqm platform in the heart of the “Silicon Sentier” in Paris.
Participate in 10 competitiveness centers in France
These centers have been organized to promote local synergies in connection with innovative projects. Orange is heading the “Images and Networks” center. These centers will allow it to be a player in the development of more than 3,000 digital start-ups and SMEs.
Contribute to two Technological Research Institutes (TRI)
As part of the French Government’s Investment Program for the Future, the Group has become involved in two Technological Research Institutes (TRIs). Orange heads the TRI b<>com, which is working on ultra-high-speed fixed and mobile networks and the content of the future with 20 SMEs in particular. It is also contributing to the SystemX Institute, which is working on digital system engineering.
The Group has launched a digital start-up spinoff system with three goals: to help develop an ecosystem of innovative businesses closely associated with Orange that create value and potential future business partners for Orange; to encourage and support the entrepreneurial spirit of employees; and to enhance the value of the intellectual property that comes out of our innovation projects.