Orange is a partner of the DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival, which takes place between 16 and 19 September 2019. It’s a great time to review the Israeli start-up ecosystem and possible synergies with the Group, thanks in part to the Orange Fab Israel accelerator. We caught up with Roseline Kalifa, Head of Partnerships at Orange Fab Israel and Rémi Prunier, Investment Manager at Orange Digital Ventures, the Group’s corporate investment fund.
How do you explain the fact that Israel has such a dynamic start-up ecosystem?
Roseline Kalifa : Entrepreneurship is extremely widespread in Israel: there are nearly 7,000 start-ups for 8 million people. This extremely high ratio – probably unique in the world – can be explained through the country’s historical and geopolitical.
Rémi Prunier : AI, cybersecurity, augmented reality and virtual reality are all very well represented in Israel’s technological ecosystem. But start-up companies specialising in UX cloud, e-health and IoT are also coming to the fore, and all are looking to international horizons. These assets make Israel a very important country for Orange, and for Orange Digital Ventures in particular.
How does Orange support start-ups in Israel?
Rémi P. : We’re financing young companies that are transforming the telecoms and digital sectors through innovative solutions, disruptive technologies and new business models. They’re particularly strong in some of the Group’s strategic domains such as AI, cybersecurity, IoT, new connectivity and the African tech ecosystem. As such, Orange Digital Ventures has already invested in two Israeli start-ups. Beyond financial support, we also participate at a board level and support them on a daily basis with strategy, business development, events, marketing and more. Each start-up benefits from the “smart money” dimension offered by Orange Digital Ventures.
Roseline K. : We set up Orange Fab Israel as a specific programme to give the start-ups we identify both the technical resources and the expert support (Orange Event, Orange Business Services, Orange Content…) necessary for their growth. We also ensure start-ups are in close contact with the Group’s business units so that the products they develop help address concrete needs
Can you give us a few examples?
Roséline K. : Morphisec, a start-up specialising in cyber attack prevention through the innovative approach of “Moving Target Defense”, benefits from a resale agreement signed with Orange Cyberdefense Belgium. Their technology now protects more than 3 million workstations worldwide. Orange Digital Ventures has also been an investor since 2018.
Rémi P. : Another example is SecBi, which develops solutions for advanced threat detection based on unsupervised AI algorithms. It benefits from the support of ODV, and their solution is sold by Orange Cyberdefense in France and Poland. Their technology is also used by the Group to secure our own infrastructure.
Orange will be at the DLD Innovation Festival 2019. What are the benefits of being at such an event?
Roséline K. : The DLD welcomes the GAFAM and international operators including Orange. We’re not an operator in the country, so participating in the DLD enables us to form technical and business relationships. It’s also an opportunity to explain our dedicated support programmes available to start-ups and the different types of partnerships we can build with them.
Rémi P : You’ll find the Morphisec and SecBi demos at the Orange exhibit space, and we’re also hosting a session on cybersecurity. DLD is also a great opportunity for me to keep up with the latest Israeli start-up and VC ecosystem and look for new investment opportunities. I’ll be at the “Meet the investors” event.
DLD Festival 2019: the essential innovation conference for start-ups and investors
All the tech giants will be meeting in Tel-Aviv from 16 to 19 September for the 2019 DLD Festival. This prestigious event for companies, investors and start-ups alike will welcome 2,000 participants and 4,000 visitors. The Orange space will host demos from 10 Israeli start-ups accelerated by the Group. There will also be eight Orange speakers presenting on topics as varied as cybersecurity, innovation and content, banking and the future of mobile telephony.