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Telecom takes a bite of App La Carte

Telecom takes a bite of App La Carte

By Suze Metherell

July 7 (BusinessDesk) - Telecom Corp's startup incubator, Digital Ventures, has snapped up a strategic stake in App La Carte, the self-help business app creator, as New Zealand's largest telecommunications provider targets future revenue streams away from its bread-and-butter earnings base.

Digital Ventures took a 20 percent stake, with the option to increase its holding up to 40 percent in the Auckland-based app developer, Telecom said in a statement. The incubator has previously invested $5 million in Sir Ray Every's health monitoring wristband company, Vigil.

Telecom is in the process of changing its name to Spark next month, as it chases earnings growth in data and cloud services as well as soft-launching an internet television option later this month. Its Digital Ventures operation develops partnerships in new markets to build new businesses and products, which may be rolled into the larger Telecom group or hived off into businesses in their own right.

"It's well known our business is refocusing away from the home phone line to the world of the mobile internet where apps play a key role in the communication process," said Digital Ventures chief executive Rod Snodgrass. "Part of Telecom's strategy has been to look for businesses to partner with where we can bring our telecommunications, marketing, networks and commercial expertise to the innovation and ingenuity of new startup companies."

App La Carte has 150 customers after launching in 2012. It offers a monthly subscription to businesses looking to build their own apps, while also maintaining and updating the backend, technical side of the app. It employs 20 staff, across New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and India.


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