Wayra is a start-up accelerator which was started in Latin America and Spain in 2011 as an initiative of Telefónica's chief executive in Europe, José María Álvarez-Pallete.
The start-up companies receive funding, office space and mentoring. The manager of the Wayra Academy in London explained their business strategy, "It's not just about the ideas. We are using Wayra as a way of acquiring great talent for Telefónica."
The first Wayra started in Colombia in mid 2011 and expanded to ten more countries that year. In 2013, there were 14 Wayra academies in 12 countries in Europe and Latin America and Telefónica planned to support about 350 startups altogether. In March 2015, Telefónica closed down the Wayra in Prague, as part of Telefónica's general exit from that market. In 2015, Volo, which had been started at the Munich Wayra, was sold to Rocket Internet