Deutsche Telekom has announced plans to double its venture capital interests in Europe by establishing a new €500 million investment fund.

Deutsche Telekom said the new fund will be used to invest in the German start-up scene and foster “operational cooperation” with OTT players.

The fund will be held for five years by the newly established Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners (DTCP) group and will build on current investments in the operator’s T-Venture offshoot.

DTCP will be one of the largest investment funds of its kind in Europe when it launches in early 2015, the operator claimed.

Thorsten Langheim, SVP of Group Corporate Development at DT, commented: ”As a hybrid fund, DTCP combines the strengths of a large corporate group with the speed and expertise of an investment fund, and expands Deutsche Telekom's spectrum considerably.

“We are opening up new opportunities for ourselves to increase the value of our own investments that are not part of our core business in the long term. Our private equity approach will allow us to invest in more mature companies that have to date been outside the reach of a purely venture capital focus.”

[Read more: Orange, Deutsche Telekom start-up accelerators to work more closely]

DTCP will also advise the operator on private equity investments, as well as existing investments in STRATO, Interactive Media, Scout, the Deutsche Telekom Innovation Pool (TIP) and T-Venture.

While T-Venture will be closed to new investments, the operator confirmed it will still maintain responsibility for the portfolios of approximately 100 companies it has already committed to.

[Read more: Operators must take more risks to get back amongst innovative elite]

Tim Höttges, Deutsche Telekom CEO, said: ”DTCP combines the expertise and strength of a large corporation with the agility and flexibility of a small investment company: the best of both worlds to take Deutsche Telekom forward.”

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