T-Venture, the corporate venturing arm of Deutsche Telekom has been restructured to align its investments with its parent’s strategic divisions: T-Mobile, T-Online, T-Systems and T-Com. Funding for new investments, in telecoms, IT, mobile communications, multimedia, electronic business and security solutions, will now come directly from the respective business unit on a deal by deal basis.
Deutsche Telekom’s venture capital activities began in 1997 with a total financing volume of EURO500 million. To date, T-Venture has made 66 direct investments totalling EURO240 million and invested EURO21 million in other European venture capital funds. Last year T-Venture established two EURO100 million funds, T-Mobile Venture Fund and T-Online Venture Fund, which have made six investments between them. The T-Systems and T-Com funds also have deals in the pipeline, although they have not formally been launched. There will be no more fund investments for the time being as T-Ventures focuses on direct commitments.
The decision-making process for new investments has changed. Although always an important consideration, synergies with Deutsche Telekom’s activities are now the main criterion governing new investments. The final decision will be made by the respective fund’s investment committee, which includes board members of the corresponding Deutsche Telekom division. The existing portfolio will also be regrouped along the lines of the four business units. Dr Thomas Kuhr, chairman of T-Venture’s executive management, said: “With our new strategy, we are creating another important opportunity for the Deutsche Telekom group’s divisions to gain early access to relevant innovations in different technological sectors.”
Dr Klaus Radermacher has been appointed to the executive management of T-Venture and as chief technology officer is responsible for restructuring the portfolio and for implementing the new strategy. His role includes ensuring T-Venture’s investments open up synergies with Deutsche Telekom’s core businesses and that know-how is transferred into the group. “The companies in which this money is invested also benefit considerably from the close links between our venture capital commitment and the business plans of the group’s divisions,” said Radermacher. Investee companies will gain access to Deutsche Telekom’s high-performance market areas and benefit from the group’s expertise as they enter the market and build up their market position.