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TelcoDR says it was awarded $1 billion to fund telco cloud supremacy

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Was Zephyrtel first of many as it scales up on the acquisition trail?

Public cloud advocate TelcoDR says it has raised $1 billion to go on the acquisition trail in the telecoms software market. 

The company plans to buy, develop and convert more software for the purpose of running telecoms in the cloud, following a recent successful takeover.

Led by CEO Danielle Royston, TelcoDR recently bought the assets of telco software company Zephyrtel and integrated it into its new subsidiary, Skyvera

Though a billion dollars might seem an outlandish figure, even for the technology industry, it is not beyond the realms of possibility, according to Dean Bubley, founder of Disruptive Analyis. "There are various possible sources for investment -  public cloud and platform companies, but also private equity if they see opportunity. There's a lot of money sloshing around looking for growth at the moment," said Bubley, "I wouldn't say any of this is likely to be gambled - I'm sure they will be doing appropriate due diligence and won't be keen to overpay." 

Hyper funds for hyper scale 

Zephyrtel was appointed as an Amazon Web Services (AWS) partner in January with a brief to develop cloud telephony apps using artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) within Amazon’s SageMaker system.

Skyvera aims to help communication service providers (CSPs) to convert to a public cloud model by supplying specialist software and offing consultancy services.

The origin and details of these transactions were not disclosed however. “TelcoDR has a group of investors and they choose to remain anonymous to keep the focus on TelcoDR and the execution of its strategy to accelerate telco’s inevitable move to the public cloud,” said a spokesman.

The new cash injection will create a Telco Transformation Fund to be used to acquire more telco software products and repurpose them for use in the public cloud.

Getting tooled up for the public telco cloud 

“I’m building a library of software products purpose-built for the public cloud,” said Royston, who set up TelcoDR in October 2020 after quitting Optiva, a specialist in BSS/OSS systems for the cloud.

In February TelcoDR took over Ericsson’s stand space at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at a few week’s notice before the event in March. Despite the short deadline it filled the pavilion by recruiting AWS, Azure and Google Cloud to exhibit at the GSMA’s flagship mobile telecoms event.

While welcoming Zephyrtel customers to Skyvera, Royston said TelcoDR is eager to speed up the CSPs’ move to the public cloud.

Continuity for existing customers  

Skyvera will provide continuity to customers of acquired companies with support and a journey plan for using their public cloud-native software.

An ‘innovative membership’ programme, the Skyvera Cloud Club, will grant them complimentary access to its library of telco enterprise software. Matt Taylor, formerly of Oracle and Matrixx Software, has been recruited to Skyvera as CEO having joined TelcoDR in February 2021.

Taylor described the shift of workloads to the public cloud as “inevitable” but said this big change has been slow because service providers lack both the skills and the support needed. “Skyvera will provide this expertise,” said Taylor.