Officially leaving stealth today is London-based mobile telecommunication services provider shaka as the company announces a $1 million seed funding round. shaka is leveraging eSIM technology to allow brands to offer tailored mobile packages, ultimately looking to increase engagement, loyalty, and recurring revenues.
The $1 million seed round was led by UK-based seed fund Haatch, with Czech Purple Ventures and Antler participating alongside several undisclosed telecommunications industry angel investors.
With the investment, the startup says it can begin onboarding customers from the entertainment, retail and fintech sectors that have expressed interest in leveraging the company’s offer. The capital is also earmarked for international expansion.
The funding round will allow shaka to realise the potential of this market growth by onboarding a set of impressive high-profile customers from across the entertainment, retail and fintech verticals who have already requested to offer mobile packages through shaka. The funding will allow shaka to start building on its global vision, expanding beyond the UK market to enable brands to deploy networks to all of their customers around the world.
Jonas Jelinek, co-founder of shaka, commented: “After banking and insurance, telecoms is next on the list of legacy industries ready to be disrupted and fundamentally uprooted with technology and a truly customer-first approach. Offering mobile plans to your customers – something that today takes over a year and costs millions of dollars to do, can be done with shaka with a single API call.”
Lack of access to mobile infrastructure, legacy telco systems, lengthy timelines and high set-up costs are among some of the biggest challenges for brands looking to monetize their customers with mobile plans. shaka is working with brands to offer mobile plans to customers instantly, at no cost, with a SaaS end-to-end product and a simple API layer, driving significant revenue opportunities and customer loyalty in the process.
Founded in 2023, shaka is able to do this through innovation in eSIM technology. This technology is already revolutionising the telco space by disrupting a value chain dominated by traditional telecoms providers and shaka has already signed up a number of large brands to adopt the new technology.
The founders of shaka first met during an Antler residency in London in 2023. An international team from Czechia, Israel and UK, they are serial entrepreneurs with a complementary skill-set following decades of experience in telco, software engineering and venture-building.
The latest figures suggest that the eSIM market is already worth $4.7bn. By 2025, 98% of operators globally plan to offer eSIM technology in mobile devices and eSIM penetration is expected to jump from 20% in 2023 to 80% over the next five years. The impact of this change means the market value is expected to increase to $16.3BN by 2027, driven partially also by Apple’s switch to eSIM-only handsets.
Fred Soneya, Co-Founder & Partner at Haatch, added: “Brands are closer to consumers than ever before, giving them a unique vantage point to offer tailored mobile packages. shaka recognizes this shift and is empowering businesses to leverage this proximity to better connect with and monetize their customers through mobile services. I can’t think of a better team than Jonas, Charlie and Eli who impressed us with their individual track records in telco and as serial entrepreneurs but also with the way they complement each other.”
Sarah Finegan, Director at Antler, said: “Antler is doubling down on its investments in eSIM technology to bring information and communication to more people around the world. We backed Airalo in Singapore which is now bringing affordable connectivity to five million global users and we believe shaka has the same growth potential. This is a world-class founding team committed to disrupting one of the world’s largest industries. We are delighted to have supported shaka from day zero and are very excited to see what impact they have on a global market worth $3 trillion.”
Jan Staněk, Managing Partner at Purple Ventures, closing: “Since day one we have liked the idea of what shaka is bringing to the Telco industry. After a while something fresh in the industry which is predetermined for if not shakeup then at least some smaller or bigger changes. Following the due diligence, including several rounds with the founding team, we gained certainty of founder-market fit too. This is the first investment in the telco industry by Purple Ventures so we are glad we were accompanied by experienced professionals from Antler and Haatch.”