During 2022, Wayra worked hand in hand with partners to find and support startups in specific verticals. Highlights include the partnership with Desigual for the FashionTech industry, on the one hand, and Sportboost, the accelerator founded by Iker Casillas for SportTech, on the other.
Now Telefónica’s open innovation hub looks ahead with a focus on business opportunities between startups and Telefónica, arising from web3, 5G, the internet of things (loT), artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, robotics and cloud computing, among other technologies.
In 2022, Wayra made a global investment of €5.7 million in 40 startups, of which 16 are Spanish, with an investment of €1.8 million.
“From Wayra we are very proud of what we have achieved and the learning we have carried out to be able to improve year after year. This 2022 we have continued to demonstrate our commitment to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, acting as a safeguard to bring innovation and apply the most disruptive technology, through our startups, to Telefónica’s customers in all the countries where we operate,” says Andrés Saborido, global director of Wayra.
The startups and the sectors
One of the many sectors that Wayra has focused on in 2022 is health and sports with Indya, the Valencian company that has been in the nutrition sector for ten years and which two years ago made the technological leap to become the benchmark application in Spain for nutrition and performance. Sportsmen Iker Casillas and Rudy Fernández also became shareholders of the startup along with Pau Gasol.
Also linked to the world of sports, Wayra bet last year on Metasoccer, an innovative gaming proposal created by Champion Games, a Barcelona startup that is a benchmark in the video game sector.
Fintech was also one of the key sectors in 2022, where investments in Brand.app, the favorite finance platform for young people; Devengo, the platform for instant transfers; or Crossmint, the leading platform for simplifying the purchase and sale of digital assets (NFT), whose payment API helps its clients to orchestrate mass payments programmatically and instantly.
Within Wayra’s commitment to startups that facilitate the entire e-commerce value chain, Qoala and Rever stand out. Qoala allows users, through a browser extension and app, to find and apply online discount coupons and get cashback in its more than 3,000 affiliated stores. Rever, meanwhile, has developed software that automates the refunding of ecommerce returns and streamlines the return process for online purchases.
It also invested in Haddock, the only software in Europe that helps restaurateurs improve cost control. With just a photo of invoices, delivery notes or tickets, this Catalan startup can digitize the documents and extract all the information thanks to artificial intelligence to understand price variations and improve margins.
In education, Wayra has invested in the startup Smowltech, which offers proctoring solutions to help educational institutions and companies to check online exams, strengthening the quality of remote training and making it more accessible.
Within the Web3 arena, Wayra has invested in startups such as Gamium, a universal digital identity proposition, and Internxt, the decentralized cloud storage provider that uses blockchain technology to encrypt and shard files increasing the privacy and security of its users.
In addition, Wayra has renewed its commitment to other sectors such as Health, with the reinvestment in Idoven, a cardiology platform driven by Artificial Intelligence; Agrotech, with the reinvestment in Auravant, a tool for crop optimization; or Proptech, with the reinvestment in Floorfy.
It has been a year of investments in Wayra Spain, but also of sales. Two operations in the cybersecurity portfolio stand out: the purchase of HDIV by the NASDAQ-listed Datadog and the acquisition of Pridatect by the Singaporean company Borneo.io, founded by the former CISO of Yahoo and Uber.