Corporate VC: Telcos in the Tech Ecosystem

Digital disruption has been taking on almost every industry and the same applies to telecommunications. This has led to an increase in interest from telecommunication players to become a part of the VC space and invest in innovative start-ups. Christophe Hance gives an insight into the market, the stakeholders, and the opportunity for Telcos to engage the ecosystem. 

Chris is here to answer all your questions!

The digital revolution has greatly transformed the telecom landscape. Telcos are riding the new wave of 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, Sustainability, Cyber security, and other emerging technologies. This has resulted in the startup ecosystem becoming a pull of unique opportunities to develop their products and services and to better position themselves against their peers. A collaboration between Telcos and startups could benefit mutually in embracing their innovation journey.

We have seen mobile operators like Mobily being early movers in the startup landscape having invested in big names like UAE-based Easy Taxi and Fetchr. Saudi Telecom Company has an independently managed venture capital fund, STC, that invests in information technology, telecommunications, and digital media. On the industry level, telecom startups have been raising funds to engage local and international telecommunications companies.

These examples are reflective of the shift in attitudes of Telcos that are moving away from the traditional transactional relationship with tech companies. With MAGNiTT, you can access dynamic data to connect and partner with the different ecosystem players and capitalize on the innovative trends in this particular venture capital market. 


Keeping up with Digital Transformation

As mobile marketing and E-commerce open up a plethora of avenues, it is becoming essential for Telcos to rise to the opportunity and best serve the needs of their digital-savvy customers and businesses. In a very similar way to banks, Telcos can opt for in-house product innovation depending on internal digital capabilities. 

With 23K+ tech startups on the platform, MAGNiTT has been the trusted partner for Telcos to identify and connect with specific techs for their innovation/partnership strategy. Our platform combines not only the research to capture the latest insights across the Emerging Venture Markers but also gives you access to the most active players in the innovation space. Interestingly enough, Telcos are increasingly looking at adjacent industries such as Fintech, IT, Artificial Intelligence, and many more.

Investment/M&A Opportunities

Regional players such as STC, Mobily, and Etisalat (e&) have been leading the way as the most active Telcos in the VC space with investments as early as 2015, and are also a part of M&A plays. Etisalat acquired UAE’s el Grocer back in November. STC was a part of Careem’s Series D round back in 2016 while Mobily has been an active investor in Anghami

While these are only a few examples, MAGNiTT has dynamic data on 8,400+ verified funding rounds, filtered by funding stage, industry, and geography. Our clients can track the transactions happening across the Emerging Venture Markets (i.e: Middle East, Africa, Turkiye & Pakistan) and identify the next big investment or M&A opportunity. As the global tech space tackles a funding crunch, Emerging Venture Markets have observed increasing M&A activity in H1, closing 67 Exit deals which account for 75% of last year’s total number of Exits. The momentum is expected to continue over the next few months paving the way for more opportunities.

Marketing and Innovation

With growing interest in the startup ecosystem, telcos are now thinking beyond financing or traditional services. Innovation programs and initiatives (AKA hackathons) are becoming an active part of the major Telcos’ agendas. Recently, MTN, the largest Telco in Africa launched a hackathon where they are looking for companies, entrepreneurs, and developers across the continent to innovate and leverage mobile money to accelerate financial inclusion and digitize payments.

As a key player in the ecosystem, MAGNiTT supports Telcos in sourcing startups and helps them promote their products and programs in the regional ecosystem. Our platform provides the opportunity to directly reach out to over 19000 startup founders and 5500+ investors via their email by accessing their contact details through the platform. 

For Telcos to become an active part of the Tech ecosystem, they would need to rethink their corporate innovation strategy to upgrade their customer experience. Whether they are looking to inject capital into startups or simply identify growing innovative companies to partner with, increasing their collaboration with the start-up ecosystem will be key to unlocking their full market potential. 

Whether you want to connect with sales teams, identify the next big investment opportunity, or want to partner with the leading players in the ecosystem, unlock your full potential with MAGNiTT. 





Meet the Contributor: 

Christophe Hance is a BD Manager at MAGNiTT with years of experience in Market Analysis and Development. With B2B experience in Big Tech, Real Estate, and FMCG, Chris joined MAGNiTT to help Banks, Finance Providers, and Stakeholders find the right solutions for their inquiries. Reach out to Christophe on [email protected]




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