Telefónica, the largest telephone operators and mobile network provider, has combined its cybersecurity and other investments into Telefónica Tech Ventures. The company says they are looking for new ideas to fund it with up to €6 million investment.
Telefónica Tech Ventures also includes ElevenPaths, Telefónica’s cybersecurity company, which is its corporate venture capital arm. The company is currently funding nine start-ups and has plans to fund up to 15 in the next few years.
Chema Alonso is the chief digital consumer officer at Telefónica and also the chairman of ElevenPaths. He said that “It will be an opportunity for them not only to have Telefónica as an investor but also to turn us into a customer or even a business partner, thus providing them with the chance to develop their projects around the world.”
Director of Telefónica Innovation Ventures, Guinea Gawendo said: “This new vehicle is not only a new opportunity for the start-ups to develop their business with Telefónica, but it’s also a chance for other investors seeking to rely on the expertise and leadership of ElevenPaths in cybersecurity and Telefónica Innovation Ventures in the field of venture capital and co-invest with us in a sector that’s attracting a high degree of investment interest.”
The company says, the purpose of Telefónica Tech Ventures is “to detect disruptive innovation in cybersecurity, particularly in the areas of threat intelligence, cloud security, data protection and artificial intelligence applied to cybersecurity.”
Telefónica says that the new arm “will be open to other investors that wish to co-invest … and rely on its far-reaching experience in the dynamic cybersecurity sector”. They believe that, in the coming years, the cybersecurity sector will attract more than US$8 billion in investment.
Over the next three years, they have planned to invest in 15 startups that are both early-stage and are more mature ones. The company says, “entering into series A, B and C and devoting the necessary resources to execute follow-ons in the best-performing start-ups”.
In the coming years, the company will focus on opportunities in Spain, Germany, Brazil, and the U.K. They will also work in other significant technological markets, for instance, the U.S.A and Israel.