Google Partners With Orange For EMEA Investments

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Google has invested in startups around the world through entities such as CapitalG and GV (formerly Google Ventures) – and its parent, Alphabet. But on Thursday (May 31), the company announced a new investment effort: It is partnering with Orange Digital Ventures, which is Orange’s corporate venture fund, TechCrunch reported.

“We are delighted to support Orange’s ecosystem of start-ups and innovation and to explore alongside them opportunities for co-investment in Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EMEA),” Carlo d’Asaro Biondo, EMEA president of Google Partnerships, said in a statement. “Orange’s ecosystem is consistent with Google’s know-how and our ability to accelerate the growth of start-ups. This partnership is a way to enhance our collective contribution to innovation in this region.”

With the partnership, Google and Orange seek to discover, fund and even purchase startups that work in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud services and cybersecurity. And, while Google and Orange Digital Ventures plan on making their first investments later this year, they have not disclosed financial terms of the deal or a fund size. But the entities have noted that their investments could be made at all stages, from seed to growth.

The news comes a few months after ride-hailing platform Lyft announced in October that CapitalG, Alphabet’s growth investment fund, was the lead investor in a $1 billion round of financing. In a company blog post announcing the funding, Lyft said its valuation will be $11 billion following the investment.

“We’re also excited to work with CapitalG partner David Lawee, who is joining Lyft’s board,” Lyft said in the post. “2017 has been an important year for the Lyft community. Earlier this month, we completed our 500 millionth ride and our service is now available to 95 percent of the U.S. population — up from 54 percent at the beginning of the year.”

And, in 2016, cloud cybersecurity provider SecurityScorecard announced that it locked down $20 million in a Series B funding round led by GV with participation from existing investors, the company said in a statement. The new capital will be used to accelerate SecurityScorecard’s ongoing scale and foster innovation in its delivery of cybersecurity health ratings.

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