Dolphin, ePlanet Ventures to invest in FRiENDi
Dubai, September 27, 2009
FRiENDi Group, a leading pan-regional mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) based in Dubai, has announced an equity investment by Dolphin International and global top-10 venture capital firm ePlanet Ventures.
Dolphin International is a privately-owned Omani company established in 1985 that holds a diverse portfolio of investments in banking, infrastructure, education, healthcare, bio-technology, advertising, real estate, construction, surgical products and energy.
Mohamed Y. Al Ibrahim, managing director of Dolphin International will join the board of directors for FRiENDi Group.
“We are happy to join a prominent group of existing shareholders and to support the strong management team of FRiENDi Group. We fully believe in the plans FRiENDi Group has for expanding the MVNO business model in the region, and look forward to contribute to the company’s success” said Al Ibrahim.
“As a local partner in the FRiENDi Group operation in Oman, we know the company and its management well, and therefore this regional investment is an important strengthening of the relationship between Dolphin and FRiENDi.”
ePlanet Ventures is one of the world’s leading Venture Capital companies with 10 offices across Asia, North America and Europe. It has funded over 90 innovative high-growth companies worldwide, including landmark investments such as Baidu, Skype and Focus Media.
“ePlanet became a shareholder in FRiENDi Group in March 2008, and the additional investment we are announcing today is a manifestation of our confidence that FRiENDi Group has a bright future ahead of it in the attractive mobile telecommunications markets of Mena,” said Asad Jamal, chairman and chief executive officer of ePlanet Ventures.
“We are pleased with the progress FRiENDi Group has made so far, having launched the first MVNO in the Mena region, and we see the company as very well positioned for continued development and strong growth.” he added.
The Dubai-based FRiENDi Group has pioneered the MVNO concept in the Mena region, including making regional telecommunications industry history when launching the first regional MVNO in April 2009.
The group is delivering better services and value to its customers by using and value-adding the mobile networks of existing telecom operators, and this enable a quick regional service rollout without the considerable cost and long lead-times of building and maintaining an own mobile network.
”We have raised this additional double-digit USD millions equity to further improve our financial readiness for launching multiple MVNO operations in quick succession across the region, now we successfully have validated the MVNO model in the region with the launch of our operation in Oman”, said Mikkel Vinter, founder and chief executive officer of FRiENDi Group.
“We are particularly pleased with both Dolphin and ePlanet Ventures being existing regional and local investors, so their additional investment that we have announced today is a sign of trust in the company and our business model,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service