Orange is investing, via its holding company Orange Digital Investment, in the “Venture Reality Fund II”, a major venture-capital player in the XR (Extended Reality) sector: Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Future personal and professional uses (including entertainment, industry 4.0, medical research, and training, for example) will benefit greatly from these new technologies, which rely in part on the availability of ultra-high speed networks (including 5G) and Edge Computing.
Orange has been exploring the immersive technology sector for several years – which it believes has the potential to develop new services and experiences – and is the first European player in the telecommunications sector to invest in the Venture Reality Fund II (the “Fund”).
The Fund is a venture-capital fund aiming to grow to at least 50 million dollars and which plans to invest in at least 35 companies working in the XR (Extended Reality) ecosystem taking advantage of 5G. It is managed by the Venture Reality Fund (‘VRF”), an early-stage venture capital firm created in 2016 at the heart of Silicon Valley, VRF’s first Venture Reality Fund brought together a unique portfolio of participants in the sector and obtained impressive results thanks to its investments in promising startups and its successful divestitures, in particular from American tech giants.
The Orange and VRF teams will establish close ties between Orange’s offices and VRF’s offices in California.
“We are delighted and honored to have Orange as a strategic investor in Fund II that will invest in innovative startups to showcase the combined power of 5G networks with XR and AI. As Orange’s 5G networks deliver unmatched customer experience they also offer brand new services and entertainment for both consumers and enterprises leveraging AI and XR,” says Marco DeMiroz, co-founder and General Partner of VRF.
“At Orange, we are fully committed to supporting the next immersive technology revolution. Contributing to this new ecosystem is a way for Orange to open new opportunities by leveraging our 5G networks and creating new experiences for our customers,” emphasizes Karine Dussert-Sarthe, Product Marketing, Design and Open Innovation Director at Orange.
“Orange’s investment in the Venture Reality Fund II, alongside other major players in the telecoms sector, is an opportunity to create a partnership with a management team that has demonstrated its expertise and agility in a booming ecosystem, which will help to enrich Orange’s offers,” says Maï de La Rochefordière, Deputy CEO of Orange Digital Investment.