Telstra’s cashed-up VC arm invests in cloud-based IPscape


Telstra’s cashed-up venture capital group appears to have embarked on a spending spree, announcing its third investment in a month in the form of local cloud-based contact centre provider IPscape.


On June 21, StartupSmart reported Telstra led a $35 million Series E round in Silicon Valley start-up Ooyala, a leader in online video management, publishing, analytics and monetisation.


Then on June 25, Telstra revealed it has invested in Sydney-based online restaurant reservations start-up Dimmi, in a deal that is said to include a cornerstone shareholding in the business.


Now it has invested in IPscape, a global provider of contact centre applications and technology that enables organisations to transform expensive and complex legacy contact centre setup.


Based in North Sydney, IPscape was founded in 2005 and now operates in 17 countries.


The deal, reported to be worth below the $5 million mark, will see Telstra incorporate IPscape’s technology into its own virtual contact centre (VCC) solution for its large corporate clients.


Telstra’s venture capital arm, formally known as the Telstra Applications and Ventures Group, is headed by Deena Shiff.


In December last year, Shiff told ZDNet Australia Telstra has set aside $50 million to invest in technologies that align with its commercial and financial efforts.


According to Simon Burke, chief executive of IPscape, the partnership with Telstra will accelerate the adoption of cloud solutions in the Asia region.


Burke said in a statement more businesses will be able to use Telstra Global VCC to create an “agile, smart customer experience solution”.


“When IPscape was established in 2007, our vision was to change the game and give all businesses… a better way of buying and managing contact centre technology,” Burke said.


“Five years later, IPscape is enabling forward-thinking businesses to communicate with their customers in the same way their customers already communicate with each other.”


“[That is,] in real time, across multiple channels and through any device.”


Burke said the partnership with Telstra Global, through the new virtual contact centre solution, “takes this vision to the next step” by providing a global solution that all businesses can use.


“In five years, we expect cloud solutions such as the Telstra Global VCC to be the norm, and the traditional to simply be seen as out of date,” Burke said.


Nathan Bell, Telstra Global director of portfolio and marketing, said leading global businesses are now looking to innovative public cloud technology solutions to help them respond faster to changing customer demands, whilst also demanding greater business and commercial flexibility.


“Today’s customer service environment is the most challenging and complex we have ever faced,” Bell said in a statement.


“Customers are using a variety of different devices to connect with businesses so customer service needs to be smarter, more agile and responsive.”


“At the same time, businesses need their contact centres to accommodate fluctuating customer demand. The new VCC solution is perfectly aligned with these needs.”


Telstra’s VCC product highlights the telco giant’s increasing interest in software services for multinational clients, as it seeks to offset declines in its traditional revenue streams.