The Top 10: #8 Pablo Moro Casquete, head of new business, Telefónica Innovation Ventures; Andrés Saborido Scafati, managing director, Wayra

Pablo Moro is head of new ventures at Telefónica Innovation Ventures, a corporate venture capital (CVC) arm of Spain-based telecommunications firm Telefónica with a portfolio of 11 startups directly invested and, as a limited partner through 11 VC funds, in more than 100 startups.

Guenia Gawendo, managing director of Telefónica Innovation Ventures, said in her nomination of Moro: “Pablo plays a key role in Telefónica Innovation Ventures, participating in all phases of the investment process.

“He works very closely with Telefónica business areas to identify their scouting needs, especially in fintech, IoT and cybersecurity.

“Pablo has been also involved in closing key operations in ventures, such as Nozomi, as well as launching new key strategic projects [in cybersecurity].”

Regarding his background, Moro said: “I am head of new ventures at Telefónica Ventures, CVC of Telefónica with a current portfolio of 11 startups directly invested and, as a limited partner through 11 venture capital funds, in over 100 startups.

“I have been with Telefónica Ventures for almost two years. Prior to that, I was head of innovation at Mutua Madrileña (MM), responsible for defining and launching new products and services to the market. MM is the second largest non-life insurance Group in Spain, with more than €5bn premiums.

“I was also a member of the board of directors of Antai Ventures, the first Spanish venture builder that launched companies like Wallapop, Glovo and more. Previously, I worked for four years in Wayra, Telefónica’s seed-stage CVC unit, managing the portfolio of over 500 startups and partnerships between them and Telefónica. Also, I started my career working in several positions related to product management and business development in Telefónica Spain.”

Andrés Saborido is the manager of Wayra, Telefónica’s open innovation unit. He said: “Wayra was a pioneering project that began 10 years ago as an accelerator of startups and evolved into a CVC. Today Wayra has invested in over 700 startups and had more than 70 successful exits.”

Regarding Saborido’s background, Miguel Arias, global entrepreneurship director of Telefónica, said: “In 2011, Andrés launched and led the Wayra Argentina office at a time when there was no consolidated startup ecosystem in Latin America, being a key player in its development. That led him in 2014 to become country manager of Wayra Spain, with offices in Madrid and Barcelona. And from 2020, he manages the activity of all Wayra’s hubs in London, Munich, Madrid, Barcelona, San Pablo, Buenos Aires and Bogotá.

“Currently, he is in charge of a 500-plus active startups global portfolio and he was directly involved in more than 100 investments and more than 15 successful exits.

“He fostered digital transformation at Telefónica, integrating over 30 startup products for internal use and resale. Two of these companies were recently acquired by Telefónica.”

Saborido added: “Each Wayra hub is dedicated to scouting the best tech-startups in our focus areas, investing in startups, and managing the portfolio to generate relevant exits.

“My role now is to manage the activity of all the Wayra hubs, fostering businesses between the startups and Telefónica to drive innovation to the company and our customers.

“Through Wayra, we learned that when there is a clear fit between the projects we invest in and Telefónica’s core activities, the more likely it is that the partnership is successful.”