In 2020 when the world “stopped” due to COVID, we invested in Airalo who were heavily reliant on travel. People thought we were crazy. They’ve just raised a $60M Series B with a strong cap table. Today we’ll talk through our think on why we invested:
The Pandemic wasn’t forever
We recognised that the pandemic, while unprecedented and disruptive, wouldn't last forever and travel would rebound. When it did, we knew that the product was solid and with travel back in the mix, the adoption of Airalo’s solution would be exponential. Dismissing the strength of their product due to temporary circumstances would have been short-sighted.
If you can’t beat them, join them
The telecom industry is witnessing a seismic shift with roaming revenue coming under intense pressure and competition from eSIM technology. Rather than engaging in a head-on battle that we wouldn't have been quick enough to win, we saw an opportunity to collaborate instead. The transformative ascent of WhatsApp vividly showcased how pioneering forces can reshape the very core of the telco sector. Airalo was complementary to Telefónica in realizing more revenue streams with eSIM, and by aligning with Airalo, we set out to nurture collaboration, harnessing their innovation as opposed to competing.
Strong team & strong delivery
Led by visionary founders and serial entrepreneurs Abraham Burak and Bahadır Özdemir, Airalo exhibited remarkable resilience during a challenging market phase, attaining substantial milestones that underscore its robust performance. With an impressive influx of over 105,000 customers signing up, the company's customer base spoke volumes about its resonance in the market. In 2020 Airalo was growing faster than established competitors and was offering services in 190+ countries, a testament to its global outlook and reach.
Airalo is the world's first and largest eSIM (digital SIM) store. Now offering eSIMs for 200+ countries and regions, the company has over 5 million users and is still growing with 1 million monthly downloads over the past three months. Having expanded their team to 250+ people living in more than 44 countries, Airalo has managed to partner with telco networks globally to offer connectivity at a local price wherever you are in the world.
Airalo just closed a remarkable $60 million Series B funding round with contributions from e& Capital, Antler Elevate, Liberty Global, Rakuten Capital, Singtel Innov8, Surge, Orange, T Capital, KPN Ventures, Telefónica Ventures and I2BF Global Ventures.
We are proud to have been an investor in series A and excited to witness the company's continued growth and innovation, shaping the future of connectivity in a post-pandemic world.