Telstra invests in Chinese cloud company Qiniu

Telstra has invested in yet another cloud company, expanding its assets further into the Asia region.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Telstra has signalled its continuing interest in expanding its cloud services provision, with its venture capital arm, Telstra Ventures, announcing its investment in Chinese cloud services company Qiniu.

The investment also indicates Telstra's continuing expansion in the Asia region, with the telecommunications company having invested in five local companies over the last year, as well as acquiring telco services provider Pacnet last year.

"The opportunities created by the digital explosion under way across Asia, particularly in the Chinese market, underpin this latest investment. With its unique, global-distributed architecture and bi-directional acceleration technology, Qiniu enables enterprise customers to collect, store, and analyse huge amounts of data," said Matthew Koertge, managing director of Telstra Ventures.

"China is an important market for Telstra as we grow our international business. In addition to our shareholding in leading online automobile business Autohome, Telstra has a presence in the Chinese enterprise and datacentre market through our joint-venture company, PBS. We will now look for opportunities to work with Qiniu to enhance our offering both inside China and beyond."

Qiniu is hoping to use the Telstra investment as leverage to collaborate on developing more streamlined cloud computing technologies and services for Telstra customers in the APAC and Chinese regions.

"Our mission is to redefine cloud computing and big data with ground-breaking technologies that make services faster, simpler, and more reliable," said Xu Shiwei, CEO of Qiniu.

"Combining Telstra's established cloud and network infrastructure and our innovative technology in cloud storage should drive a lot of new business opportunities for both companies."

Last week, Telstra also announced that it had acquired Australian company Kloud to boost its cloud and managed network application services.

A Microsoft partner, Kloud provides professional and managed services to enterprises for more than 80 corporate and government customers across Australia and APAC, as well as supplying solutions for productivity, identity, security, application development, and cloud infrastructure for enterprise cloud applications.

Telstra said it hopes to use the acquisition to leverage Kloud's experience to improve the technology solutions that the telecommunications company offers its enterprise customers.

"Kloud's expertise can make it even easier for our customers to transition their workloads and applications to the cloud," Michelle Bendschneider, Telstra executive director of Global Enterprise and Services, said. "Kloud will enhance Telstra's consulting-led capabilities by expanding our professional and managed services, complementing recent acquisitions such as NSC, O2 Networks, and Bridgepoint."

Telstra acquired unified communications solutions and contact centre provider North Shore Connections (NSC) Group in August 2013; network integration services provider O2 Networks for a reported AU$60 million in January 2014; and information security, networking, and data management provider Bridgepoint in October 2014.

Also last week, Telstra Ventures announced its investment in United States application delivery services provider Instart Logic.

The Palo Alto, California-based company provides user experience and performance solutions for improving its customers' websites, as well as providing security to protect websites against breaches and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

"Given mobility continues to be one of the top trends in the technology space, we are excited to start the year with an investment in Instart Logic. Their end-to-end application delivery platform combines machine learning for performance and security with a CDN for delivery," said Mark Sherman, managing director of Telstra Ventures.

Telstra has also been focusing on investing in tech companies worldwide over the past two years; in March 2015, Telstra Ventures made a multimillion-dollar investment in Taiwanese video big data and analytics company Gorilla Technology Group, saying the company could provide beneficial video analytic software solutions for the government, security, broadcast, and retail sectors.

This followed Telstra Ventures announcing an equity investment in Elemental, a software-defined video solutions provider for multi-screen content delivery, in December 2014, and its minority equity stake in Panviva, an Australian cloud-computing business process guidance software provider.

In August 2014, Telstra also invested $270 million into Silicon Valley-based video-streaming and analytics company Ooyala, taking control of the company in the process. This was followed in September by Telstra contributing to a $50 million Series D funding round for ecommerce platform Bigcommerce, and joining a number of other backers in a funding round for DocuSign, an electronic signatures company.

At the end of last year, Telstra also pledged AU$10 million over five years to aid in the development of the world's first silicon-based quantum computer at the University of New South Wales' Centre for Quantum Computation and Communications Technology.

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