UAE's e& capital leads $60m funding round for Airalo's eSIM marketplace growth plans

Capital will be used to scale the company's millions of users and expand its global team

e& capital says Airalo's eSIM services have the potential to become a 'travel essential'. Photo: E-Vision
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The UAE's e& capital, the investment unit of the global technology conglomerate formerly known as Etisalat Group, has led a $60 million series B funding for Airalo, the eSIM marketplace that aims to expand its global presence.

The investment brings Airalo's total funding to $67.3 million, and was participated in by Antler Elevate, Liberty Global, Orange, T.Capital, Rakuten Capital, Singtel Innov8, Telefonica Ventures, Sequoia Capital India, Surge, KPN Ventures and I2BF Global Ventures, Airalo, a US start-up, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The capital injection will be used to boost Airalo's expansion plans, including scaling its community that comprises millions of users and grow its global team, the company said.

It will also use the funding to introduce Airalo Partners, a new connectivity solution tailored for businesses and organisations.

"We have complete confidence in Airalo’s ability to expand its user community, strengthen its diverse team and introduce its latest product Airalo Partners, a groundbreaking connectivity solution for global businesses and organisations," said Kushal Shah, managing director of Abu Dhabi-based e& capital.

"We believe that Airalo has the potential to become a travel essential and are excited to support their journey towards becoming the definitive gateway to instant connectivity worldwide."

eSIMs are virtual versions of subscriber identity modules, which are primarily used in mobile devices, most notably smartphones. They contain user identity, primarily a mobile number and are pinpointed to a certain mobile network.

With eSIMs, users do not have to physically swap or transfer SIM cards from device to device; they can be activated online, providing more convenience.

Major companies that offer eSIM services include Apple with its iPhones, Google with its Pixel devices and Samsung Electronics with its Galaxy line-ups.

The global eSIM market is projected to hit $4.62 billion by 2030, from an estimated $1.21 billion in 2023, at a compound annual growth rate of 21 per cent, according to Fortune Business Insights.

"Airalo has alleviated the pain points and improved the experience of millions of travellers by providing very affordable and accessible connectivity all around the world," Airalo co-founders Abraham Burak and Bahadir Ozdemir said.

"This new consortium of investors will further enable us on our quest to build the gateway to instant connectivity worldwide."

Airalo was founded in 2019 and currently offers eSIM packages in more than 200 countries. Its website and app are available in 22 languages, with plans to support 53 languages in the near future.

Updated: August 04, 2023, 8:52 AM