A Minneapolis venture capital firm will see up to a $200 million injection from telecom giant AT&T.
The money will be used for Coral’s Communications Industry Platforms’ (CIP) efforts to invest in “connected services and platforms” businesses, the companies said in a news release. Coral will be seeking other investors for the fund as well.
The investment capital comes from the AT&T Labs and the AT&T Foundry innovation centers, which were launched in 2011 in part to work with start-ups.
“This investment is part of our push to address the needs of global service providers,” Andre Fuetsch, chief technology officer and president of AT&T Labs, said in a statement. “We look forward to collaborating with Coral and other CIP members to find — and even create — start-up companies to build disruptive technologies to solve these challenges.”
Coral Group’s chairman and founder, Yuval Almog, could not be reached for comment, and other executives declined to comment. It was not clear whether the fund would be invested nationwide or in Minnesota start-ups.
Coral is the fifth largest venture capital firm in Minnesota, according to a ranking by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal. The $200 million from AT&T would double the group’s funds under management.
“The CIP solutions are targeted at large, move-the-needle opportunities initiated by our strategic collaborators,” Almog said in a statement. “We are pleased to welcome AT&T to the CIP.”
The fund is specifically targeting companies using the Open Network Automation Platform, an operating system for managing computer networks that AT&T uses to manage its cloud network, the release said.
Coral has invested in more than 100 technology companies in the past. It specializes in telecom systems integration, internet-based consumer and enterprise-facing applications and services.