CAPITAL ranking: Wayra Germany is second-best Innovation Lab

July 1, 2020
The business magazine CAPITAL has awarded wayra Germany in the annual CAPITAL ranking as the second-bestInnovation Lab in Germany.

CAPITAL ranking: Wayra Germany is second-best Innovation Lab

With its award-winning venture client model, the wayra Open Innovation Hub establishes real and resilient customer relationships between companies and start-ups. In doing so, the wayra Germany team works closely with the parent company Telefónica and its processes in order to specifically implement innovative start-up solutions within the group. This helps Telefónica to quickly cover emerging needs as well as to help start-ups to work with a major customer and to implement their own products in practice.
Our position in the ranking of the best Innovation Labs confirms the successful work of wayra


"Our position in the ranking of the best Innovation Labs confirms the successful work of wayra in the field of corporate venturing," says FlorianBogenschütz, Managing Director at wayra Germany. "The focus on the cooperation between start-ups and Telefónica has brought great success for both and we are pleased that our model is now also increasingly perceived as a future-oriented approach in the German investment landscape".


Active for the telecommunications group Telefónica in Germany since 2012, wayra initially acted as a classic start-up accelerator itself. Today, wayra Germany scouts and supports start-ups in the Open Innovation Hub and, as a wholly-owned subsidiary with its own budget, arranges cooperation with the group's business departments. The aim is to discover and promote new technologies and make them available to the Telefónica Group.


Start-ups benefit from the customer relationship with the telecommunications group, in particular from the learning effects from working together on real customer projects, the sales resulting from the orders and the gain in prestige in the market environment. In addition, wayra gives the start-ups within the Telefónica portfolio direct access to the global group network with over 350 million customers in 24 countries.


In this way, wayra's Innovation Hub creates an ideal environment for innovative start-up technologies to flourish in Telefónica's scalable infrastructure. An activation programme for start-ups in the areas ofInternet of Things, Blockchain, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence is currently underway.


"We provide start-ups with the opportunity to deploy their solutions in key technological areas such as 5G, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence in a real-world environment. This gives them a decisive advantage, because what start-up has a database of 350 million real customers or a globally distributed network infrastructure at its disposal? At the same time, this approach is massively advancing Telefónica's digitization, because start-up solutions are now being used more quickly and on a broader scale. Wayra was one of the first companies in the world to take the risk of establishing a true venture client approach in the corporate environment, thereby bringing together the innovative power of start-ups and the scalability of corporations at a strategically useful level. This is now paying off," says Bogenschütz.


CAPITAL and Infront Consulting identified the best digital labs in the German-speaking world in the "Digital Lab Award 2020" study. The study was published for the fourth time in a row in 2020. Around 50 Innovation Labs in Germany were examined.


The key results of the study were presented along four design fields of digital innovation units – ideas, people, procedures and ecosystem – are described. Besides, the reaction patterns of the digital laboratories to the Corona crisis we reinvestigated. According to the editors, digital innovations and thus also digital innovation units are more in focus than ever before due to the demands of the Corona crisis. Also, regardless of the impact that the pandemic has on units and parent companies, in some places, these are unleashing undreamt-of potential. Away from Corona, the study's authors conclude that models such as Venture Clienting will increasingly replace the classic accelerator model – a decisive factor for wayra's success in this year's ranking.

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About Wayra Germany

Wayra Germany is the Open Innovation Hub of telecommunications group Telefónica. As an early-stage investment arm, Wayra Germany scales technology-oriented start-ups. The focus is on the venture client model, which enables start-ups from the fields of Internet of Things, data analytics, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence to win Telefónica as customers for products and solutions - while offering unique access to the infrastructure of the global telecommunications company. Telefónica, in turn, benefits from the innovative ideas of the start-ups, on the one hand, to improve processes within the Telefónica Group and, on the other hand, to develop new products for Telefónica brands. Wayra Germany was recently named Germany's best digital lab of a corporate group by Infront Consulting and the business magazine Capital.
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