TelcoDR is establishing a $1 billion telco transformation fund to acquire companies and software products in order to speed the cloudification of the telco market. The company has already purchased the assets of ZephyrTel, which is comprised of eight sub-companies: Accuris, Mobilogy, NewNet, PeerApp, ResponseTek, Service Gateway, VoltDelta and Vasona.
A spokesman told Fierce, “TelcoDR’s telco transformation fund is focused on enterprise software companies serving the telco sector — any size and at any stage of development — as a whole or as a carve out. The primary criteria is that they serve the telecommunications sector where their primary customer targets are communications service providers – MNO or MVNOs.”
Acquired assets will be overseen and operated by Skyvera, a subsidiary of TelcoDR. Skyvera has named Matt Taylor as CEO. According to his LinkedIn profile, Taylor’s experience includes sales leadership roles with Oracle and MATRIXX Software.
Skyvera’s current headcount totals about 40 employees. It’s headquartered in Austin, Texas, with a globally-distributed, remote first workforce.
Skyvera’s website already lists several of the ZephyrTel companies:
- Mobilogy provides mobile device lifecycle services to optimize customer experience.
- Service Gateway is a device management solutions provider.
- Accuris creates monetization opportunities for service providers by simplifying the interworking between and across networks.
- VoltDelta is a global provider of multi-channel contact centers and directory service solutions.
- Vasona Networks does multi-access edge computing.
- NewNet is a provider of advanced messaging solutions.
Fierce asked TelcoDR how much was left in the $1 billion fund after the purchase of ZephyerTel. “As we believe that telco is embarking on an inevitable shift to the public cloud, which will require significant investment and time, we will continue to raise funding to support this transition,” stated the spokesperson.
Mystery billionaire backer
Danielle Royston, the super-energetic CEO of TelcoDR, made a big splash at Mobile World Congress 2021 earlier this year by buying up the convention space that was vacated by Ericsson and turning it into a “Cloud City.” Royston characterizes herself as a “telecom evangelist,” who’s leading the charge to get telcos to use cloud technologies.
There are detractors of Royston who say that telecom already has plenty of traction moving to the cloud and that top leaders at carriers and cloud companies would probably just pick up the phone and call each other without needing Royston, a relative newcomer, to mediate the conversation.
Nevertheless, Royston is advancing the cloud discussion. And she seems to have hundreds of millions of dollars to back her up. Earlier this year she invested $100 million in a startup, Totogi, which creates charging software.
People have been asking where Royston is getting her funding, and she has declined to answer.
An article in TelecomTV speculates that her mystery backer is ESW Capital founder Joe Liemandt, whom Royston previously worked for at his company Trilogy. The pair may have crossed paths at Stanford, where they both studied in the late 80s. And both their LinkedIn profiles state that they live in Austin.
ESW Capital is the company that sold ZephyerTel to TelcoDR.