Dallas-based AT&T Inc. announced Thursday that it is investing up to $200 million in a venture capital fund targeting startup companies that focus on connected services and platforms.
AT&T said it will work with Minnesota-based Coral Group’s Communications Industry Platform team to identify and invest in the startups. Coral has invested in more than 100 technology companies.
The effort is intended to help AT&T develop solutions for some of the toughest technology challenges focused on the Internet of Things.
“This investment is part of our push to address the needs of global service providers.”
“This investment is part of our push to address the needs of global service providers,” Andre Fuetsch, chief technology officer and president of AT&T Labs, said in a release. “We look forward to collaborating with Coral and other CIP members to find — and even create — startup companies to build disruptive technologies to solve these challenges.”
The company said the fund will invest in technologies that operate on the Open Network Automation Platform, an operating system for software-defined networks. ONAP was created from a merger between a platform devised by AT&T Labs and an existing open-source effort, and is being used to manage AT&T’s own cloud network. ONAP now is an open-source platform hosted by the Linux Foundation.
Coral Group and AT&T will identify more startup companies in the future in which the venture capital fund can invest.
The investment joins AT&T Labs and the AT&T Foundry innovation centers as the company’s latest innovation program.
AT&T said it started the innovation centers in 2011, in part, to work with the startup and open-source communities.