Cardinal Capital Bets On SIM Local Bounce

17 Aug 2021 | 11.10 am

Cardinal Capital Bets On SIM Local Bounce

Undisclosed amount to boost sales of prepaid local SIM cards

17 Aug 2021 | 11.10 am

Private equity company Cardinal Capital Group has made an undisclosed investment in SIM Local, which provides local mobile network bundles to business travellers via localised SIM cards.

Selling prepaid SIM cards for local networks from 300 contracted sales points in Europe and the US, Sim Local served 700,000 customers in 2019 and was named in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50.

Though the business has taken a hit due to curbs on international travel during the pandemic, Cardinal is betting that a turnaround will come when the tourism industry bounces back.

Managing director Mike Maloney said: “Before Covid Sim Local was growing very quickly in the prepaid SIM card market. As the world comes out of lockdown and international travel opens up we are delighted to invest behind Killian Whelan and his management team to help the business scale internationally.”

SIM Local chief executive Killian Whelan (pictured) added: “This investment by Cardinal Capital, along with their expertise in scaling companies, will help Sim Local to take advantage of what is a tremendous growth opportunity in the international prepaid SIM card and eSIM markets.

“Mike Maloney’s experience successfully scaling Payzone to become Ireland’s leading point-of-sale and electronic-payments company should prove invaluable to Sim Local as we chart a similar trajectory.”

Though the precise amount invested has not been revealed, John Dolan, managing director of private equity at Cardinal, recently told Siliconrepublic.com that candidate firms chosen by Cardinal Ireland Partners fund can expect an investment of €10m to €40m.

SIM Local is part of the Travelwin Group, which also includes NetLync, a spinoff brand launched in April to take advantage of a new opportunity emerging in electronic SIMs, or eSIMs.

These virtual SIM cards provide the same service as a physical SIM, but with data stored in a few lines of code on a dedicated chip in a phone rather than on a traditional SIM.

Vodafone Ireland now offers eSIMs across 25 of its devices.

M&A partner Lorcan Tiernan at law firm Dillon Eustace advised Travelwin on the investment by Cardinal Capital.

Pic: Maxwells Dublin

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