Orange Digital Ventures invests in PayJoy, the leading platform for financing smartphones for the Next-Billion consumers
Orange Digital Ventures announces its participation in PayJoy, a digital platform that allows people with limited or no access to credit to pay for a smartphone in regular installments. This investment comes as part of PayJoy’s Series A-funding round alongside several VCs including Union Square Ventures (USV), Draper Nexus Ventures, Fenway Summer Ventures, Core Innovation Capital, among others.
PayJoy’s platform aims to reduce the financial barriers to acquiring a smartphone thereby opening up the smartphone market for over two-thirds of the world’s population who do not yet own one (over 5 billion people). Today, consumers with limited resources and little or no credit profiles, who represent a large and significant market of global consumers, do not have access to traditional phone leasing schemes.
PayJoy’s software platform provides a unique and disruptive way of making smartphone ownership more affordable for the Next-Billion consumers: the platform’s device-management software installed on smartphones transforms them into software-enabled collateral that allows third-party institutional lenders to finance the smartphone upfront and consumers to pay in monthly installments.
Pierre Louette, Orange’s CEO Delegate in charge of Orange Digital Ventures said: “This investment in PayJoy further demonstrates the Orange group’s ambition to support and accelerate the digital evolution of our customers globally, and in particular for our 110 million customers in Africa and the Middle East. Investing in PayJoy represents a logical extension of our investments in other frontier markets such as Jumia Group (formerly Africa Internet Group), Afrimarket and Afrostream. PayJoy illustrates our belief at Orange that disruptive ways of thinking can often provide surprisingly simple solutions for breaking down previously unsurmountable barriers”.
Doug Ricket Founder and CEO of PayJoy said: “We are delighted to partner with Orange Digital Ventures for the purpose of bringing mobile finance to underbanked consumers in emerging markets, and in particular we welcome Olawale Ayeni as a Board advisor to help PayJoy on the road ahead”.
PayJoy represents a novel and disruptive approach to providing credit to thin-file consumers, which according to McKinsey research represents a potential 2.3 trillion USD market, with an initial focus on the 400 billion USD, global smartphone opportunity. PayJoy’s software enables the emergence of a two-sided market place that brings together institutional third-party lenders and thin-file consumers. The company is currently located in California, USA. For more information, visitwww.payjoy.com.
Orange Digital Ventures identifies and funds early-stage start-ups. Orange Digital Ventures proceeds by making investments via minority holdings. The focus is on financing start-ups working in areas that are set to transformation the digital ecosystem and to target large markets/sectors, through innovation, disruptive technologies or new business models. In particular, Orange Digital Ventures supports start-ups in the fields of new Connectivities, Enterprise Cloud and data, the Internet of Things and Fintech, from any geographical location.
Orange Digital Ventures invests in BandwidthX
Orange Digital Ventures announces a new investment in BandwidthX, the leading Wi-Fi connectivity marketplace for operators.
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 announces the acquisition of capital in four new start-ups, in line with the Orange Group’s strategic priorities in areas such as: Fintech, new forms of network connectivity, or future field of innovation such as virtual reality
The Group’s corporate venture vehicle confirms its ambition to explore the most disruptive digital innovations that transform our customers' digital experience. After one year of existence, Orange Digital Ventures now has a portfolio of nine start-ups, making it one of France’s most dynamic corporate ventures.
- DataMi is a key-player in “sponsored data”. It provides advertisers, businesses and service vendors with a solution that allows them to increase visibility around their products and services on mobile sites and applications, while funding end users’ mobile data consumption. This solution is based on an innovative monetization platform that allows operators to dynamically integrate usage into the billing in a similar way to a toll-free number This model opens up a wide range of applications such as sponsored access to mobile sites, “data reward” offers, contextualized mobile advertising, or BYOD ("Bring Your Own Device"), all of which will give customers more freedom to benefit from the power of 4G.
Orange Digital Ventures participated in a fund raising round of 10 million dollars, that will allow DataMi to finance its growth on all continents, particularly in areas of rapid growth in terms of adoption of the mobile Internet, with the aim of becoming a leader in smart mobile monetisation.
- KissKissBankBank Technologies is the French leader in crowdfunding. The young start-up offers three online platforms, each in response to different funding requirements: KissKissBankBank offers individuals the possibility of helping artists or young designers finance their projects in exchange for non-financial compensation; Hellomerci is the leading player in peer-to-peer lending for solidarity projects and associations; and Lendopolis is an innovative platform for loans to companies from individuals and corporations, compensated with annual interest rates of between 5% and 12%. In a fast-growing crowdfunding market throughout Europe, KissKissBankBank draws on collective intelligence and web-based solidarity to respond quickly and efficiently to individuals’ or businesses’ financing requirements. Orange Digital Ventures is the lead investor in a programme to raise 5.3 million euros in KissKissBankBank alongside Xange and private investors. These resources will enable the start-up to accelerate its growth in the highly dynamic French crowd-lending market. For more information: http://www.kisskissbankbank.com/en
- Veniam combines the deployment of very high-speed Internet and smart city services in a new “Internet of objects in movement” concept. Through this service, connected urban vehicle fleets become agents of a meshed connected network deployed in real time across cities, extending Internet access and enabling the collection and real-time analysis of environmental data from connected sensors. Orange Digital Ventures, alongside Verizon Ventures and Cisco, participated in a 22 million-dollar fund raising round, thanks to which Veniam will be able to expand its concept – already operational in Porto – to every continent, and particularly in London, New York and Singapore.
- Wevr has developed a video-hosting platform for virtual reality (VR), which gives content creators the possibility of distributing and monetising their virtual reality experiences. This new form of content, which lies at the crossroads of video games and cinema, will be accessible on all smartphones as well as the virtual reality headsets: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PS VR, Samsung Gear, Google Cardboard…
The content offered will be produced by Hollywood studios, independent studios as well as Wevr itself, which has also developed a VR engine designed to facilitate the creation of immersive videos. As such, Wevr has won several awards for the quality of its VR experiences.
With more than 25 million dollars raised to date from investors such as HTC, Samsung, AME Cloud Ventures (Jerry Yang), Digital Garage (Joi Ito) and now Orange Digital Ventures, the Californian start-up Wevr plans to become the leading platform for the distribution of VR content, in particular by associating with the highly active and creative community of independent producers.
Pierre Louette, Chief Executive Officer Delegate and President of Orange Digital Ventures commented: “The announcement of these four new investments illustrates Orange Digital Ventures’ ability to participate in major international fund-raising rounds alongside major players in the industry, placing it among the most dynamic corporate ventures in France. We are very proud to support DataMi, KissKissBankBank, Veniam and Wevr that embody, each in their own way, some of the most disruptive innovations available both in our preferred investment areas as well as in more exploratory fields.”
Orange Digital Ventures participates in 7 million-euro funding round in Wynd
Orange Digital Ventures took part in a 7 million-euro funding round, led by the investment fund, Alven Capital, in the start-up Wynd. This French start-up develops Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions under the Wynd brand for connected commerce, which enables merchants to create cross-channel sales paths and digitize their points of sale. This round of financing followed a first round in October 2014 in which the Parisian start-up raised 1.8 million euros.
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”.