Eurobites: Telefónica continues fintech foray with Wenalyze

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Arcep sets out eco framework for digital services; Vodafone brings mobile broadband to rural Italy; Brits don't trust secondhand phones.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

May 17, 2024

3 Min Read
Telefonica Spain headquarters
(Source: Kristoffer Tripplaar/Alamy Stock Photo)
  • Telefónica is investing in Wenalyze, an open data analytics platform for the banking sector, via its Íope Ventures investment vehicle. The platform's specific focus is on improving the categorization of banks' payment data and the underwriting and policy renewal process for SMEs in the insurance sector. The investment round, which is led by Athos Capital, has already raised more than €1 million (US$1.08 million). Íope Ventures was created in 2022 by Wayra and Telefónica Seguros as a vehicle for investing in fintech and insurance tech startups.

  • The European Commission has opened a formal investigation into whether Meta's two social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram, have fallen foul of the Digital Services Act with regard to the protection of minors. The Commission is concerned that the two platforms' systems in general and algorithms in particular may, in the words of the Commission's press statement, "stimulate behavioural addictions in children, as well as create so-called 'rabbit-hole effects.'" The Commission is also worried about the robustness of Meta's age-verification methods. Both Facebook and Instagram were designated as Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) under the terms of the DSA; it is this designation that imposes (rightly) onerous obligations on them.

  • Arcep, the French communications regulator, has laid down guidelines for reducing the environmental footprint of digital services such as websites, streaming platforms and AI tools. The new policy framework comprises a daunting 78 different criteria that those creating such services should observe, but its four key goals are: extending the lifespan of devices; promoting a "mindset of environmental sobriety in response to online strategies"; decreasing the IT resources mobilized over the digital service's lifecyle; and increasing transparency on the digital service's environmental footprint.

  • Vodafone has collaborated with towerco Inwit to bring mobile broadband to the remote Italian town of Bobbio, which is in the Emilia-Romagna region. As well as setting up the network, Vodafone says it also using Big Data technology to monitor its performance.

  • UK consumers are aware of refurbished phones but aren't keen on buying them. That's the gist of a new YouGov survey, which found that while 91% of those asked had heard of refurbished handsets, only 6% currently own one. Among the things putting them off secondhand models was their reliability, while security concerns were also a major factor. Just 17% of those responding think it is likely that they will go down the secondhand route in the future.

  • First-quarter EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) at Austrian operator A1 rose 4.2% year-over-year on revenues that inched up 0.7%. Service revenue grew in all A1's markets apart from Slovenia. Outlook for the full year 2024 was confirmed as 3-4% revenue growth and capex (excluding spectrum) of around €800 million ($867 million).

  • Just 5% of UK telecom customers had missed one or more payments for landline, broadband or mobile services since the start of 2023, according to new research from Ofcom, the UK communications regulator. Around four in five of those who actively sought information about debt support turned to their provider for help, the study added.

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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