Telefonica's incubator: Wayra. Too good to be true or am I missing others?


Wayra is an initiative regarding startups (theoretically not only tech) founded by telefonica in 2011.

Having started with the premises to form incubators only in 8 latin-american countries + Spain and 10 projects a year on each; it quickly expanded to have 20 projects a year and gas opened other european countries including Germany and Ireland. It has annouced to expand even more. This expansion gives an indication on it's success or at least importance Now what I want to talk about here is their conditions, from last year edition I summarize here what they claim:

  • They fund projects in their early stage. Even the very early, when it is just an idea.
  • They will fund projects according to their needs to a maximum of 70.000 USD (This I read in previous editions though it is not mentioned currently); with no return
  • They will provide soffices for the startup team, plus the inevitable advertising
  • They will open their infrastructure to your project if needed/affordable, free of charge, as if you were partners. Telefonica's infrastructure is simply Huge
  • Their counter is: depending on the cash funding they will hold a maximum of 15% of the shares of your company. (If 70.000 USD is the max then they value you at +450.000)
  • They will not hold any rights on your company. Once you finish your time in the incubator they will only hold whatever share they have (max 15%) and don't belong in the board.

The real deal here is that the investment goes in very early stage and their focus is precisely on tech startups that are in such stage. I ask to anyone who knows more about incubators: how good are these terms? What other incubators are there that do not have a standard funding/share ratio and fund in such early stage?

Venture Capital Incubators Early Adopters

asked Oct 23 '12 at 00:46
126 points
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1 Answer


My name is Yamil (@yamilsalinas) and I manage comms and media for all Wayra operations. We're really glad about your interest in Wayra, and yes, as you noted, in the last year we've gained a strong reputation in the ecosystem (considering we're new and we come from a big telco company as Telefónica) because we want to stick to startup rules and the culture of new ventures.

In general, your points are correct, and if I have to summarize our differential value for startups in Latin America and Europe are a) our footprint (12 countries, with synergies from teams, mentors, staff, etc.) and b) our exposure to Telefónica, a company with millions of customers and employees. Nevertheless, this not means you can preinstall your app to every Telefónica customer from day one (!) but all of our startups begin with internal tests, pilots (we are more than 250m employees, many of us early adopters), applications, selling through different channels, meetings with marketing and product engineers, R+D, business partnerships, etc within months. Those things would be practically impossible to achieve outside Telefónica.

Regarding funding options, we are moving now from the traditional stake/equity model to a convertible note, and depending the stage, maturity and business sector this takes no more than 12% at maximum. You can take a look to our portfolio here, and as you can see, we not necessarily accelerate startups with a direct or clear fit with actual business models inside Telefónica. We're open to any disruptive change in technology and that rocks! Hope this helps to clarify your question. You're welcome!


answered Oct 26 '12 at 23:58
11 points
  • Thank you Yamil for this extra info – Quinestor 8 years ago

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