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Telefónica picks second cohort of start-ups for its Wayra accelerator

Businesses to be backed with up to €40,000

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O2 parent company Telefónica today announced the latest group of tech start-ups to join its Wayra and Wayra UnLtd accelerator programmes.

The next incumbents range from those offering leveraged sports betting, LEVBET, to those with an educational bedtime story application, Dream Learners. 

The Wayra Academy opened its doors to 16 start-ups in June 2012 and announced in February that it was looking for additional start-ups to be part of the cohort that was announced today. 

As with the first cohort, Wayra and Wayra UnLtd will take a 5-10 percent stake in each start-up in return for up to €40,000, space in the Wayra Academy near Tottenham Court Road and advice from Telefónica staff. 

The start-ups will move in on 12 May, with six of them joining Telefónica's Wayra accelerator and seven joining the Wayra UnLtd accelerator.

Wayra UnLtd aims to support start-ups solving social problems, and is run as a joint venture by Telefónica and UnLtd, which claims to be the “world’s largest supporter of social entrepreneurs”, as well as receiving backing from the UK government. 

The latest winners were selected from a pool of 30 finalists, following a two-day pitch process, known as the Wayra Finals, in which firms were judged by a panel of experts drawn from the likes of Google, the Cabinet Office and Accel Partners venture capital firm. 

Gary Stewart, director of the Wayra and Wayra UnLtd Academies in London, said: “We are confident that through funding, mentoring and the support of a multinational business in Telefónica, we will be able to give them the leg up that they need on the path to success.”

Several other accelerators have opened in London recently, such as Startupbootcamp FinTech next to the Tower of London and Microsoft Ventures in Whitechapel, East London. 

Wayra UnLtd Start-Ups:

  • Applyed - For parents, Applyed is a platform to find the best education for your child. For schools, Applyed is a digital admissions solution and data analytics tool. For society, Applied is a means of guaranteeing that talented and promising young people have access to ‘best-of-class’ educational opportunities
  • Get Out Explorers - Connects children and their parents with the natural world through an iPhone app, website and offline content.
  • The Busking ProjectKeeping - Described as the Time Out, Tinder and Foursquare of busking.
  • - Disrupts class through a digital university built by employers.
  • Roadio - Aims to help improve problem of road safety, with the context being that road crashes are the biggest killer of young people in the UK and globally.
  • Dream Learners - Educates children at bedtime through the magic of storytelling because this is deemed as the most effective way to learn.
  • Policy in Practice - This scalable software helps frontline advisors to quickly and clearly illustrate the impact of policy changes on individuals and households.

Wayra UK start-ups:

  • CLOUDWEAR/iWUNTA - Intention-based messaging for mobile and wearable devices.
  • DOOWAPP - Music messaging with that lets you to put specific song lyrics into your message and play them.
  • LEVBET - Leveraged sports betting.
  • OpenDesk - A global platform for local making. They sell furniture that is designed for digital fabrication and can be made locally all over the world.
  • RotaGeek - Delivers online scheduling for businesses and the health sector, allowing employers to create, modify and disseminate employees work shifts.
  • Yoyo - A simple marketing engine for today’s retailers, powered by in-store mobile transactions.


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