Orange Digital Ventures invests in BandwidthX

With Internet data consumption continually on the rise, the solutions developed by BandwidthX offer operators a new model that enables them to densify coverage in addition to infrastructure deployment. Like digital marketplaces for infrastructure rentals such as home leasing or vehicle sharing, this virtual platform automatically matches up supply and demand and allows Wi-Fi suppliers to share their excess network capacity on occasion.

It enables both fixed and mobile network operators to optimise the use of their resources and ensure the best connection experience for their customers, wherever they are, both on their domestic market and abroad. The BandwidthX model is already operating in the United States and has proven its worth.

The unique know-how of BandwidthX lies in its real-time calculation algorithms for relevant transactions from among millions of possible combinations in order to create a sustainable market for exchanges. The cloud platform allows operators to set parameters for exchanges by access point or by customer profile, including as a function of actual traffic conditions. In addition, BandwidthX gives the customer an automatic, transparent connection to the network.

Ultimately, the BandwidthX business model could become central to capacity sharing between mobile operators, as contemplated in the work preparatory to 5G in which Orange is participating.

Pierre Louette commented: “With this new investment, Orange Digital Ventures confirms its commitment to supporting the development of digital players which are transforming the network operator business. The disruptive model introduced by the BandwidthX marketplace will create new opportunities for operators, opening for them the business of “infrastructure as service” and network aggregation, including in countries in which they do not operate directly, while better controlling deployment costs.”

Orange Digital Ventures invests in four new start-ups: DataMi, KissKissBankBank Technologies, Veniam and Wevr

Orange Digital Ventures participates in 7 million-euro funding round in Wynd

In just two and a half years, Wynd has positioned itself as a key player among major retail groups in France as well as several other European and Middle Eastern countries. The financing will be used to support the expansion of the Wynd team and increase its ability to roll out its services in points of sale in response to growing demand in France and internationally, and to step up product transformation toward multi-sector usage.

The Wynd solution deeply transforms sales channels by covering a global perimeter to support in-store convergence (cash register, order screens, production screen, smart TPE, etc.) and out-of-store convergence (e-commerce platform, m-commerce, marketplace, car and bike drive-ins, etc.) while offering tools to streamline productivity, increase sales and improve customer knowledge. Wynd is already working with major national retailers in two key areas: the restaurant sector (Flunch, Elior, Nabab Kebab, Exki, etc.) and florists (Monceau Fleurs, Happy and RapidFlore).

With its cross-channel sales offer, Wynd is a core player in growth and operational efficiency for its customers. By associating itself with Wynd, Orange is once again furthering its goal of supporting startups working on innovative solutions with a high added value.

Pierre Louette, Deputy CEO of Orange and President of Orange Digital Ventures, said “We are proud to associate ourselves with Wynd, which has anticipated many of the changes to the distribution sector that have resulted from the development of digital services. Through this investment we are participating in the development of solutions that facilitate the customer’s overall experience. This investment could open up important prospects for improving customer experience in our own offers, reflecting one of the main promises of our Essentiels2020 strategic plan.”

Ismael Ould, CEO and co-founder of Wynd, said: “We are very happy to reach this new stage in the development of the company. Our vision for the transformation of the retail sector is in line with current trends and we have managed to win over the confidence of several important customers and we will continue to offer disruptive services to support them in their digital transformation. The whole team has worked hard to bring these results and Alven Ventures and Orange now represent the perfect partners to help bring Wynd up to a new level in its development”.

Orange Digital Ventures invests in Afrostream

Afrostream’s unlimited SVOD streaming service is already available on all connected screens in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire (www.afrostream.tv). It features programming for the entire family and includes cartoons, concerts and documentaries, in addition to films and TV series.

Taking advantage of its presence in Africa as well as in European countries with large African diaspora populations, Orange wishes to collaborate with the start-up to facilitate Afrostream’s development by providing its expertise in networks, distribution and payment.

Afrostream has been supported by Orange Fab France and Y Combinator, a seed accelerator based in Silicon Valley. The investment illustrates Orange’s support to talented entrepreneurs through a combination of measures made available to start-ups, from the acceleration program to early stage financing.

Pierre Louette, Deputy CEO of Orange and President of Orange Digital Ventures, said “This investment is part of ODV’s ambition to finance services that are able to address different geographical areas in which Orange is present. It will enable us to develop the video-on-demand market, particularly in Africa. It will also enable us to enrich the content we already offer to our customers in France, as Afrostream should be launched on Orange TV by next summer.”

Tonjé Bakang, CEO of Afrostream, commented that “The future of television is mobile. With this strategic investment by Orange, Afrostream now brings together the best of the mobile internet and the best of African content. This new alliance will enable us to revolutionize the entertainment industry and to reach all audiences.”

Orange Digital Ventures invests in Chain, the leading provider of blockchain technology solutions

Orange is investing in Chain alongside several other companies, including NASDAQ, Visa, Citi, Capital One and Fiserv. In total, the consortium is investing 30 million dollars in Chain.

Chain’s newest partners will also join the company in forming a blockchain Working Group to explore the application of the technology in their markets and take a collaborative approach to building new solutions.

Orange, thanks to its office in Silicon Valley, has already been supporting and working on Blockchain ecosystems with start-ups, including Chain, as well as large corporations through Orange’s Chainforce initiative (http://www.chainforce.org/) .

A blockchain is a new model for transferring digital assets that substitutes third-party intermediaries with cryptographically decentralized secured networks. A blockchain enables asset holders in a market to transact instantly and securely. This technology can facilitate the issuance and transfer of asset types as varied as financial securities, gift cards, mobile minutes, loyalty points and energy credits. Transactions are recorded automatically on the network’s shared ledger, providing increased transparency to asset issuers, owners and regulators. In addition, the use of cryptographic signatures reduces risk and prevents fraud, making blockchain-based transfer a credible alternative to centralized systems available today.

Chain partners closely with leading institutions to design, deploy and operate blockchain networks that are purpose-built for particular markets and assets. These private networks, which do not use bitcoin currency but are based on the same open protocol, are interoperable with one another and with other open blockchain standards.

Pierre Louette, Orange’s Deputy CEO who is also responsible for Orange Digital Ventures said: “We believe in the disruptive potential of the blockchain and becoming a key partner and investor in Chain will help us to learn faster and launch trials around this technology. We are seeking to carve out multiple use cases in our range of businesses to improve our services and propose new ones to our customers”

Adam Ludwin Chain CEO said: “We are thrilled to partner with Orange to explore the uses of blockchain networks in the telecom market. We believe these new networks will simplify data transfer between carriers and enable new services that will improve end user experiences."

Chain Inc. partners with leading financial institutions to build and deploy blockchain networks that enable seamless, programmatic and peer-to-peer transfer of digital assets. The platform, which is based on the open and interoperable bitcoin protocol, enables institutions to create, issue, store and transfer digital assets on private networks purpose-built for a given market. The company, which is one-half strategic partner and one-half technology platform, offers a range of solutions, from a development sandbox for rapid prototyping to secure network nodes for production systems. Chain is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. For more information please visit www.chain.com. For press and general inquiries, please email hello@chain.com.

Orange Digital Ventures identifies and funds early-stage start-ups during their initial development. With 20 million Euros earmarked for its first year, Orange Digital Ventures proceeds by making investments via minority holdings. The focus of is on financing those start-ups working on the new and next transformations of the telecoms and digital sectors, through innovation, disruptive technologies or new business models. Orange Digital Ventures will support in particular start-ups in the fields of new Connectivities, Enterprise Cloud and data, the Internet of Things, and Fintech, from any geographical area.