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Telstra invests $US18m in apps maker Kony

John McDuling (via AFR) | June 26, 2013
Applications and Ventures Group is Telstra’s venture capital division through which the carrier has taken small takes in start-up technology companies such as IPscape and Ooyala.

Telstra invests $US18m in apps maker Kony
Applications and Ventures Group is Telstra’s venture capital division through which the carrier has taken small takes in start-up technology companies such as IPscape and Ooyala. Photo: Rob Homer

Telstra's venture capital arm has made its first investment of the year after tipping $US18.3 million into US-based mobile applications developer Kony Solutions.

The telco has taken an undisclosed equity stake in the business, which offers large corporate customers pre-built, enterprise applications that can be deployed across multiple operating systems and devices.

Kony already counts Hyatt, Konica Minolta and Schweppes among its customers but Telstra will also market and distribute Kony's products to its local client base.

"For Telstra this is a win-win - we are investing in an innovative company and adding immediate value by being able to offer Kony's products to our business and enterprise customers," Telstra Ventures managing director Mark Sherman said in a statement.

Telstra is believed to have set aside about $40 million each year for investments into start-up software and technology companies in a move designed to unearth new capabilities but also protect the telco against the enchrochment of rivals in adjacent industrues.

Last year, the telco took stakes in a string of companies including Silicon Valley based video streaming service, Ooyala, as well as local based start ups such as restaurant booking service Dimmi and cloud computing business IPscape.

Mr Sherman said Telstra Ventures aims to build an investment portfolio of 20-30 companies over the next three to five years.

"Our investments will be among the best emerging companies in the world each at varying stages of development," he said. "Our team will continue to look for investment opportunities which fill gaps or accentuate opportunities for Telstra,"

 

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