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BT Group: Scouting opportunity and incubating innovation with PitchBook

British Telecom is the world’s oldest telecommunications company, with roots dating back to 1846. In 1991, British Telecom rebranded to BT and, through a series of strategic alliances, expanded in scope and reach to serve overseas markets.

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Jack Stenson
Head of Startup Scouting - Europe
Platform profile for BT Group (UK)

British Telecom is the world’s oldest telecommunications company, with roots dating back to 1846. In 1991, British Telecom rebranded to BT and, through a series of strategic alliances, expanded in scope and reach to serve overseas markets. Today, the BT Group serves consumer and enterprise customers throughout the globe. 

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As the BT Group continues to evolve, it is keenly focused on bringing compelling, innovative technologies to the market in each of its business lines. PitchBook helps corporations, and divisions like Etc. at BT Group, identify winning investment opportunities to support the future of the business.

Etc. at BT Group is incubating promising startups that support BT Group’s efforts to create new revenues in new markets. By accelerating the development of technology in new and existing categories, the Etc. at BT Group team helps ensure that BT Group stays ahead of the competition and strategically expands its operations.

Opportunity to gain an advantage

Before the startup incubation effort was formalized, BT Group was focused on understanding competitors’ and startups’ actions and investments to inform or validate BT Group’s business strategy. For that purpose, BT Group gathered intelligence from a host of sources including calls and meetings with venture capital firms and target companies, and through traditional market monitoring and news sources.

But to stay ahead of the competition, the group wanted to move faster, make bolder decisions, and do so with the highest degree of confidence. It needed an efficient, centralized, and streamlined resource for data gathering.


As the incubation team was forming, they began researching tools for pulling together data necessary for making smart startup engagement decisions. PitchBook was widely recommended by peers in investing and telecommunications spaces. It was an obvious choice to trial the Platform, and PitchBook became its top choice for the richness and accuracy of its data. BT Group began using PitchBook in 2019 and has steadily expanded its engagement in the years to follow.

Broadening use of PitchBook

Since adopting PitchBook, Etc. at BT Group has contributed significantly to the expansion of BT Group’s portfolio moving beyond telecom and deeper into technology through engagement in new verticals and opportunities. PitchBook gives BT Group the insights needed monitor movements of other telecom companies. The incubation team is well-prepared and armed with reliable data from PitchBook at leadership presentations when presenting its investment theses, which has contributed to a high degree of confidence in go-forward decisions.

“PitchBook has been an invaluable resource for Etc. at BT to be confident in our decision making at all steps in our innovation process. Finding the best startups and being able to do due diligence before engaging them saves us time and de-risks our efforts. Also, the research papers and analysts help ensure we’re well briefed on the latest insights to keep us ahead of the curve.”

Jack Stenson, Head of Startup Scouting - Europe 


Since beginning to use PitchBook, BT Group’s incubation team has grown dramatically from a small team with an ambition to explore new categories to a family of over 100. In 2022, with the help of PitchBook’s deep database of key startup metrics, Etc. at BT Group completed 12 deals with unique startups in core verticals, including drone technology, healthtech, fintech, and electric vehicle charging.

More importantly, the team’s confidence in the information it uses to guide the future of this multinational conglomerate has increased exponentially, from a confidence factor of 30% to 80% or better with PitchBook.

Read more about corporations using PitchBook to get ahead.