Telefónica’s internal innovation is complemented by our open innovation strategy, which arises from the need to look outwards to attract the talent and emerging technologies that we identify in startups, with the aim of incorporating them into the company to innovate better and faster.
The Open Innovation team acts as a link between Telefónica and the entrepreneurial ecosystem, keeping us up to date with what is happening around us and identifying the most brilliant and disruptive projects in the startup environment in order to support them and incorporate them into our catalogue of services and our own internal processes.
As pioneers in corporate innovation, we understand that large companies face a choice: innovate or disappear. We believe that corporations are capable of reinventing themselves by working hand in hand with entrepreneurs, helping them to scale their projects. In this way, we can identify trends, collaborate and create ecosystems that generate synergies to complete the company’s digital transformation processes.
In 2006 we launched our first vehicle, Telefónica Ventures. Since then, we have maintained our unwavering commitment to attracting innovation to our company through collaboration with entrepreneurs around the world. Wayra and Open Future are Telefónica’s other two vehicles for innovation.
During all these years, we have generated an ecosystem with different initiatives that cover all phases of entrepreneurship; a complete and unique interface between entrepreneurs; and a network of more than 40 partners, made up of large companies, governments and other relevant agents, that allow us to collaborate together and obtain mutual benefits. In addition, we are present in 12 countries through our 40+ hubs. Of the more than 1,000 startups invested, 500 are currently part of our portfolio and 180 work with Telefónica. In total we have invested €200 million: €60 million from Wayra and €140 million from Telefónica Ventures.
Today, more than 25 of our startups are worth more than €50M, a significant figure that shows that we are helping them to grow and, more importantly, to attract investors. Our startups have raised €1.9 billion, 10 times more than what we have invested in them.
Our open innovation initiatives
Launched in 2014, Open Future is the strategic regional entrepreneurship programme developed in alliance with public and private partners. Through this initiative, we support local startups in their early stages of maturity, foster the creation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem outside the big cities and promote local action with a global point of view.
Together with our partners, we have created Open Future Hubs that offer startups a working and mentoring space where they can develop, grow and access exclusive offers from commercial partners. Any company that does not yet have a minimum viable product or generate business is a potential candidate to enter this programme.
We currently have 33 Hubs in 3 countries in Europe and Latin America, from which we have accelerated more than 1,300 projects. In 2022, we have opened two new entrepreneurship spaces in Andalucía: Puerto de Huelva and Zona Franca de Cádiz; and one in Valencia: Open Top.
Open Future´s goals
- Decentralise and democratise entrepreneurship by creating an ecosystem outside the big cities.
- Create growth opportunities in the regions where we operate and foster the entrepreneurial environment in the cities.
- Accelerate startups and prepare them so that in one year they can fast track and gain access to Wayra or Telefónica. In this way, we help them to reach a higher level and we look for those that do FIT, acting as a first gateway to the company.
- To provide Telefónica with an innovation product with a very broad and early view of all the innovative trends that are emerging outside the big city and with great potential for exploitation.