Supporting the development of start-ups

Aware of the role digital technology plays as a vehicle of sustainable human and economic development, Orange is committed to identifying, supporting and promoting innovative projects. A proactive approach in parallel with start-ups, which will, in future, change the lives of our customers and help to develop a new economy.

Orange Fab, the Group’s start-up accelerators

Orange Fab is the Group’s international network of start-up accelerators. The selected start-ups will be offered both material support (access to workspaces) and non-material assistance (mentoring, training, etc.). Orange Fab aims to build a relationship of trust between the Group and the start-ups, in order to hatch synergies and win-win joint innovation projects.

To date, more than 250 companies have participated in seasons organized by our 14 accelerators across the world. In addition, in April 2017, Orange and Facebook launched the Orange Fab “Telecom Track”, an initiative that aims to support start-ups focused on network infrastructure innovation. Finally, with GB Ignite, an alliance between Orange and three other leading telecoms operators, the start-ups have access to a market of over 1 billion customers.

Comprehensive support for the start-up ecosystem 

In San Francisco, we have created Orange Silicon Valley, a development center that detects and explores emerging trends in this region. We are looking to identify innovative technologies and products to shape the future of the digital economy.

We have also set up business incubators in emerging countries in Africa and the Middle East. To support the innovators of tomorrow, in February 2016 we launched a dedicated information area in French and in English for people setting up businesses in these countries. The website provides information for entrepreneurs and puts them in touch with the various ways in which Orange supports entrepreneurship.

In France, the Group is active within the  French Tech ecosystems, the initiative launched in 2013 by the French government to promote the emergence of start-ups and the creation of a new international economic momentum.

Orange is also a partner of La Ruche (literally, “The Hive”), a network of collaborative co-working spaces. This community of entrepreneurs builds business solutions to meet social, societal and environmental challenges. There are five Ruches in France. two of which are in Paris, with the others located in Montreuil, Bordeaux and Marseille.

Targeted investments

Orange Digital Investment (ODI) gathers together all the Group’s activities relating to investment in start-ups. The entity invests with a view either to making a financial profit or to improving Orange products and services through the creation of synergies.

Orange Digital Investment manages capital investment in external funds that have their own investment strategy, such as Iris Capital, which it founded with Publicis. ODI also manages digital corporate development activities, which consist of making acquisitions or major strategic investments in digital businesses that nurture Orange’s promise (Deezer, DM, Jumia, etc.).

Finally, Orange Digital Investment is the home of Orange Digital Ventures, the Group’s primary investment vehicle with a capital of €100 million. The investments made by Orange Digital Ventures are linked to the priorities of the Essentiels2020 strategic plan and are therefore focused on new connectivities, the Internet of Things, fintech, etc. A fund specifically for Africa, ODV Africa, was launched in 2017 and has a budget of €50 million.