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A1 Telekom boosts global mobility bundle with deal for Austria smart-city startup

Austria-based A1 Telekom has acquired a majority share in local smart-city analytics startup Invenium, in which the mobile operator has held a stake since 2017. The unit, originally a spin-off from Technical University Graz and the Graz-based Know-Center, a European research center for data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), will bundle its analytics offering into A1’s new A1 Mobility Insights proposition.

Invenium will, however, retain its brand; the firm, based in the southeastern state of Styria, said it is looking to expand beyond Austria, to serve international customers with analysis of movement flows for traffic, tourism, retail, and other sectors in the ‘smart city’ space. 

A1 said its broad A1 Mobility Insights product, tested by the TUEV safety and standards administration in Germany and newly available on the HERE Marketplace, is offering cities and businesses movement data analysis, and has “already proven helpful” for coronavirus (Covid-19) management. 

Thomas Arnoldner, chief executive at A1, said the deal with Invenium, to help businesses get back to work, is “important development of a European data economy”. The deal to offer anonymized and aggregated motion analysis on the HERE Marketplace will bring an international audience, said A1.

It said in a statement: “A1 provides a dashboard that can answer questions [about mobility behaviour]. Anonymized and pseudonymized data from A1’s mobile network is accumulated and analyzed. By design, it is not possible to draw any conclusions about individual persons.”

Mario Mayerthaler, head of innovation at A1, in charge of the operator’s A1 Startup Campus, which has incubated Invenium since 2017, and supports young companies with “knowhow and infrastructure”, has been appointed chief executive of the unit.

Mayerthaler said: “Our cooperation is a good example of the successful expansion of a comprehensive digital ecosystem together with partners from business and scienceI am looking forward to further developing Invenium together with the founder team and the possibilities A1 is providing.”

Michael Cik, founder and chief strategy officer at Invenium, called the deal “proof” that his firm “recognized a need at an early stage… and has been on the right track over the past few years”.

He commented: “The closer cooperation gives us the opportunity to think even bigger and to carry out technological and organizational developments more effectively and efficiently, even on an international level. I look forward to the intensive exchange and to the future of A1 Mobility Insights with full confidence.”

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