Telefónica, a leading global telecoms company, is partnering with Jerusalem-based technological incubator VLX Ventures (Van Leer Xenia Ventures) to make potential investments in Israeli startups focusing on video, cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things, smart homes, wearable technology and future communications.
Chosen companies will receive investment capital and also the potential to scale their products to some 300 million Telefónica customers around the globe. The planned collaboration is part of Telefónica’s Open Future program.
“Joining forces with Telefónica is strategic for Israeli startups, and supplies them with the highest level of professional support, funding and a partnership with a leading strategic global company,” said VLX Ventures CEO Ori Choshen.
“Our goal is to put together several joint investments every year and to continue to expand our collaboration from year to year. Collaborating with a significant player such as Telefónica provides young companies with the opportunity, from the early development stages, for professional cooperation with a strategic partner that can invest in their promotion and development, and is a potential giant client for the solutions they are developing.”
Telefónica – whose strongest markets are Spain, Europe and Latin America — has had a presence in Israel since 2010 and a team focused primarily on R&D for “future communication” products. In July 2013, Telefónica joined Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) in an R&D Cooperation Framework in which the OCS provides a one-stop shop to enable new opportunities for collaboration between Telefónica and Israeli startups.
“As a digital telco, Telefónica invests in many forward-thinking companies around the globe. 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.
“This partnership with VLX Ventures allows us to strengthen potential collaborations with young Israeli technology companies operating in areas that are of interest to Telefonica.”