• Telefónica's open innovation hub and the international innovation initiative from CaixaBank, Global Payments, Worldline and Visa are joining forces to invest in start-ups, helping them to grow their businesses and generate new opportunities.
• These companies will act as strategic partners to allow start-ups to scale up globally.
Wayra, Telefónica's open innovation hub, and Zone2boost, the international initiative from CaixaBank, Global Payments, Worldline and Visa, are joining forces to strengthen their commitment to innovation and collaboration with start-ups.
The agreement establishes that Zone2boost and Wayra will jointly select start-ups for investment, thus accelerating the innovation at CaixaBank, Global Payments, Worldline, Visa and Telefónica and providing new business models. In this way, both organisations facilitate joint business development and promote opportunities for start-ups to grow through the help of Telefónica and the promoter companies of Zone2boost, and any synergies that may arise.
In recent weeks, Wayra and Zone2boost have announced joint investments in start-ups such as Proppos, which uses artificial intelligence to recognise any type of product in a store and offer a faster purchasing experience without the need for scanning, and Payflow, a fintech initiative which allows payment of salaries on demand. Both companies also organised a Pitch Day on Monday, 8 February at Wayra's offices in Barcelona for the presentation of new start-ups and to analyse potential synergies and business opportunities. On the other hand, Deeder, a start-up created by Wayra Builder and stemming from an internal Telefónica technological project that, thanks to blockchain technology allows the signing of contracts through messaging applications, has been one of the start-ups incorporated into the acceleration program by Zone2boost.
Both Zone2boost and Telefónica will act as partners of choice for these start-ups. The Telefónica Group will offer services and advice that start-ups require on connectivity, cloud computing and cybersecurity, helping entrepreneurs to make decisions. Zone2boost will help start-ups scale up quickly through a multitude of valuable resources, such as the ability to approach large customer portfolios through large distribution channels, and to improve brand positioning and gain visibility.
Wayra and Zone2boost start the new year with this strong and optimistic alliance after a commitment in 2020 to the world of entrepreneurship in which both companies supported Spanish and international start-ups more than ever.
"We are happy to join forces with Zone2boost and to start 2021 with an agreement that will strengthen our commitment to open innovation. This partnership will serve to offer more and better growth opportunities for start-ups involved with the Telefónica and Zone2boost driving companies", says Marta Antúnez, head of Wayra Barcelona.
For Zone2boost, this partnership is also important, as the project's partner companies have made clear: "This is an opportunity to promote innovation and to create new services. Collaboration with start-ups and SMEs allows large companies to improve agility and innovation efficiency, shortening the time from when an idea emerges until a new product or service is placed on the market, and to identify talent."
Wayra is the world's most global, technological and connected open innovation hub. Wayra is present in seven innovation hubs in 10 countries in Europe and Latin America, with one clear objective: to help start-ups grow globally. Wayra has a portfolio of more than 400 start-ups, with more than 100 already working to provide disruptive solutions to Telefónica and its global network of 350 million customers.
The mission of Zone2boost is to identify innovative business initiatives in business technologies and financial services and accompany their growth and development. The international innovation initiative has completed its first year of operation with more than 300 start-ups assessed, eight start-ups incorporated into the acceleration programme, and an investment volume of €800,000. Visa has also joined Zone2boost as a partner, alongside CaixaBank, Global Payments and Worldline, to promote the project.