February 14, 2019 / 10:05 AM / 6 months ago

Sequoia-backed Singapore telco Circles.Life to invest over $250 million in overseas push

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Sequoia-backed Singaporean mobile services provider Circles.Life said on Thursday it plans to invest more than $250 million to roll out services in over five countries, including Taiwan and Australia, in the next 18 months.

Singapore’s telecom market is set for a shakeup this year as a new player TPG Telecom is preparing to launch services. Last year, conglomerate Keppel Corp and Singapore Press Holdings offered to buy a majority control of mobile operator M1 Ltd.

The Circles.Life also said on Thursday that it closed a series-C funding round that was led by Sequoia, but declined to say how much it raised or its valuation.

“Some of our other investors include relatively big family offices in Indonesia, and folks behind companies such as (Philippines’) PLDT, who bring a lot of global expertise as well as local knowledge,” Abhishek Gupta, co-founder of Circles.Life, said at a briefing.

The company will invest more than $50 million in each of its new market launches, it said in a statement. However, the investment amount could change depending on the markets, Gupta said.

Circles.Life is among a handful of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in Singapore. MVNOs typically buy access from carriers’ networks at wholesale rates, and market their phone plans to specific users, such as more price-conscious consumers.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Shreejay Sinha

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