Telecoms giant BT has pumped £30m into a tech freelancing start up which helps business transform their digital systems, as it looks to ramp up its own digitalisation push.
BT bosses revealed they had taken a stake in Distributed, which provides firms with freelancers with expertise in AI and cloud computing, as the firm looks to tap into high growth tech startups via a new division it set up to back fast-growth tech firms.
Distributed, led by former musician Callum Adamson, said the backing from BT was a “huge milestone” for the firm.
Mark Murphy, a technology executive at BT will also take a board seat at Distributed, while BT’s start up growth director will join as an observer.
The investment from BT marks the latest step in the firm’s efforts to ramp up modernisation efforts after hiring tech executive Harmeen Mehta as chief digital and innovation officer last year.
Mehta said the investment in Distributed would help “accelerate the digital revolution within BT and help to make it and the UK a key hub for the digital innovation economy.”
BT has been going through a period of transition under chief executive Philip Jansen, who has outlined plans to cut 13,000 jobs and slash 270 of BT’s 300 UK offices.
Bosses have come under pressure to deliver growth after shareholder Patrick Drahi increased his stake from 12 per cent to 18 per cent, sparking speculation that he was preparing to launch a takeover bid.
Jansen has been looking to strip layers of bureaucracy and create a more agile workforce since joining the firm three years ago from payments firm Worldpay.