Vodafone. It’s a brand that most folks here in the states would, at first pass, almost certainly chalk up as “that one European company that puts their name on a bunch of
football soccer jerseys” — that is, if they recognized it at all.
And yet, Vodafone is essentially the biggest wireless carrier in the world. They’re the top carrier by revenues, and second to only China Mobile by subscribers. Oh, and they own 45% of Verizon. In other words, they’re kind of a big deal — and now they’re lookin’ to get in on some of that Silicon Valley action.
This evening, Vodafone is opening the doors to the Vodafone Xone (the sign store ran out of Z’s, so they just rolled with it.) Xone is a brand new research and development center in Redwood City which will serve as, amongst other things, a means of assessing potential investments for their Vodafone Ventures group.
But wait, there’s more! Vodafone’s new shop will also:
It’ll probably be a few weeks before Vodafone really settles in and starts diggin’ around for startups to usher in, but folks interested on getting their foot in the door early can find more info here. Do note, though, that (at least from my early conversations with them) it sounds like Vodafone is primarily interested in investing in companies with a product they’re ready to expand globally, rather than Angel/Early-seed stage startups.
Vodafone Group is a mobile telecommunications company. The company has a significant presence in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the United States. In the United States the group’s associated undertaking operates as Verizon Wireless.