Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa (VMMEA) has received $30 million in financing, which it will use to fund its expansion across the region.
The cash injection has come ahead of an IPO in the form of Sukuk certificates, which are a type of bond compliant with Islamic law that mature two years after a company floats its business. VMMEA has not yet set a date for an IPO.
The operator’s CEO Alan Gow noted that the company was “uniquely positioned” to expand its successful MVNO model into new markets. He noted that growth opportunities made the region highly attractive for the telecoms sector, and confirmed that the funding would be used to support growth.
VMMEA currently offers MVNO services across Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia and South Africa via both the Virgin Mobile and Friendi brands. Based on figures from October 2017, it has 4 million customers across these markets, and is looking to add ten new markets to its footprint – although it has not indicated which countries these may include.
In addition, it has an “advisory relationship” with Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company – the operator behind du – on Virgin Mobile-branded services within the UAE. It has long stated its goal of becoming the “digital disruptor” of the Middle East.