Orange, a global telecommunications giant, has recently entered the bitcoin space, starting with a campaign that is being spearheaded by its Silicon Valley Branch. Orange Silicon Valley, or OSV for short, intends to fund startups with up to $20,000 in investments per startup. According to Bloomberg, talks with two bitcoin startups are already in progress.
Bitcoin isn’t the only area Orange is investing in. Orange has created a subdivision by the name of Orange Digital Ventures, whose sole purpose is to support entrepreneurs and budding companies. ODV has an allotted budget of €20 million for its first year of investments. With a focus on targeting minority interests, ODV will invest between €500,000 and €3 million per minority interest. Priority sectors include connectivity/networks, communication services, Data management and ‘Big Data’, mobile payments, ‘Internet of Things’, cloud, security, and customer experiences. ODV has expressed an increased interest in supporting startups coming out of Africa and the Middle East, but any worthy proposal around the globe will be considered. Orange Digital announced their goal to support 500 startups globally by 2020.
Bitcoin-related investment has been a rapidly increasing trend as of late, and many companies across various sectors have begun exploring this space proactively. Orange isn’t the only telecommunications company to have taken an interest in bitcoin. Japan’s leading mobile phone operator, DoCoMo recently invested in Coinbase during its $75 million funding round. Perseus, a communications channel provider for global stock and security exchanges, has also shown interest through its partnership with GoCoin in 2014. T-Mobile Poland has also begun testing bitcoin payment integration by allowing prepaid phone credit to be purchased with bitcoin. This was made possible by their partnership with local bitcoin processor InPay S.A.