The Spanish group Telefónica announced the launch of an international network of technology venture capital funds, starting with a capital base of about U.S.$376.1 million (€300 million). Dubbed Amérigo, the network aims to detect and finance new businesses that are innovating in the digital space. For its first stage, Amérigo will focus on four countries: Spain, Colombia, Chile and Brazil.
Telefónica wants Amérigo to become a key source of financing for technology entrepreneurs globally, particularly outside of the main centers of venture capital activity, such as Silicon Valley and London. The targeted countries were chosen because they have strong support from their governments and public financial institutions as well as from private partners.
Amérigo marks the next stage in Telefónica’s strategy to understand and embrace the digital innovation ecosystem. Matthew Key, chair and CEO of Telefónica Digital, noted that with Amérigo, the telecom operator seeks to combine the funding power of private and public funds to create a real engine for stimulating technology innovation.
Amérigo joins other Telefónica’s initiatives such as the startup incubator Wayra and the direct investment program Telefónica Ventures.
(Currency exchange used for this story was 1 USD = 0.797661 EUR)