Telefónica Germany Kills IoT Spinoff

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Telefónica Germany Kills IoT Spinoff

Telefónica Deutschland, the German subsidiary of Telefónica S.A., the giant telco with strong roots in Spain and Latin America, has announced it is closing its IoT division, Telefónica Germany Next GmbH, just two years after its foundation. According to a report in Handelsblatt, about half of the staff of 100 employees will be transferred to other divisions within the concern, the rest will be terminated.

Billed as an entrepreneurial spin-off of Telefónica Germany, Next was originally tasked with developing an agilestart-up environment, we develop innovations in the areas of big data, audience targeting, and the Internet of things. Its stated goal was to jointly define rules and standards for working with IoT data and to create new business models and propositions, helping consumers by making their devices more useful.
Forming the core of Next’s open IoT ecosystem, an IoT platform called “Geeny” was established to empower businesses to generate new use-cases on top of their existing devices and applications – with the consent of the end user. It was designed to make is easy to connect and mix various IoT devices and create one-click solutions for end users.
The idea was to provide technical interfaces, processes and tools that would make connecting devices and services easier, saving clients complex and costly development and enabling them to integrate with multiple partners in order to set up and market smart products more quickly.
At the time of its founding, Next was described by the company as “not just another project, but the cornerstone of an expanded business model for Telefónica in Germany. At a venture capitalist meeting in 2018, a speaker noted that Next would enable the telco to “grasp the opportunity to grow in the lucrative market for digitization.” In 2017, Telefónica purchased the Berlin-bases startup Minodes in what was rumored to be a two-figure million Euro deal.
Telefónica has not said what will become of Geey and whether it will be continued within the corporate structure or spun off or shut down. Market insiders have revealed an attempt to sell the subsidiary, but the deal is said to have fallen through.
Handelsblatt quoted an anonymous source within the company as saying,
This is a dangerous step. Next was launched with high hopes. A spokesman for Telefónica said,

Now is the right time to move successful concepts closer to the core business of Telefónica Deutschland.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Telefónica Germany

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