Truphone has raised £255 million in funding through a successful rights issue to clean the slate and launch an assault on the burgeoning world of IoT.
The company has said the majority of the cash will be used to wipe out £239 million debt accumulated over the last couple of years as the team pushed into new markets. Most of this overdraft was built up during the development of what Truphone describes as a ‘fully globalised mobile connectivity platform’.
“As a result of this unique proposition, we are able to offer highly differentiated Enterprise products and are the enabler of choice for disruptive IoT and eSIM solutions,” said Ralph Steffens, CEO of Truphone
“I see this latest investment as a significant vote of confidence from our investors in our growth strategy, and our ambition to continue scaling the business globally. It is an important step in achieving our long-term goal to power billions of connected devices around the world.”
The business has seemingly been growing quite steadily over the last couple of years, and plans to be profitable in 2018. It has 350 staff in 10 countries, but the services are available in 220 countries and territories around the world. This foundation fuels the bread and butter of the Truphone business model, offering mobile contracts to individuals and companies which do not incur roaming charges. And while this might be considered the legacy business, it does also offer a glimpse into the future.
Using the same idea of roaming without incurring charges, Truphone will apply this to the world of IoT. Customers buy data and apply it to any device, wherever it is in the world. Now most of these devices are going to be fixed permanently, but Truphone believe mobile connectivity capabilities will be embedded at the point of manufacture in any IoT or consumer device in the future. The devices can be sent anywhere in the world, ‘offering an out of the box connectivity experience’.
While creating a connectivity platform for the IoT world is a long-term ambition, Truphone doesn’t seem to have completely forgotten about its core business, kick starting a new partnership with Apple as well. It’s been a busy week for Truphone.
As part of the partnership, Truphone connectivity will be locally available in 31 countries on Apple eSIM by the end of the year. Right now it is only focused on the iPad, but who knows whether it could be expanded should Apple users find it a useful little trick. Expanding the partnership to include the iPhone or Apple watch series would be somewhat of a coup for Truphone.
All seems to be going well for Steffens and his cronies, now all they have to do is start making money.