ZipTel adds 2 million subscribers in a month

Since the launch of its Ambassador Campaign, ZipTel has added 2 million subscribers and made AU$62,000 in revenue.

Australian telecommunications app provider ZipTel has announced that since launching its Ambassador Strategy in mid March, it has made AU$62,000 in revenue and reached 10 million subscribers.

This is despite less than 1 percent of its customer base not being paying subscribers, though this is an area that the company is aiming to address.

"The results since turning our focus to monetisation have been very encouraging," said Keaton Wallace, executive director of ZipTel.

"A focus will be improving the ratio of paying to non-paying subscribers. This is a clear and tangible area of growth, and one which we can readily capitalise on, as these customers have already installed Zipt."

ZipTel announced its "Zipt Ambassador Portal" on March 17, adding a third revenue stream alongside its Zipt Out low-rate calling service and its "Speedtalk" white label enterprise service.

ZipTel generates revenue through its Ambassador Portal by serving interstitial, video, and in-feed advertising to customers making use of its Ambassador content or asking a question to an ambassador -- such as footballer Gareth Bale and cricketer Brett Lee -- via Zipt Q&A.

It also began serving "offerwalls" to customers using Zipt Out credit, to provide an alternative to monetary payments for customers using Zipt.

Calling, messaging, and video across ZipTel services remain advertising free.

"The Ambassador Portal is a new feature of Zipt, which provides a clear monetising competitive advantage over comparable products," Wallace said at the time.

"Soon, we will be driving significant traffic to Zipt and the Ambassador Portal with ambassador memorabilia and other competitions. To date, with the initial ambassador posts, we have flagged the ambassadors' involvement. In the next step, we will use calls to action to engage their fan base and elevate activity."

ZipTel attributed its achievement in reaching 10 million installs -- 2 million of which occurred in the four weeks to April 4 -- to the success of the Zipt Ambassador Campaign.

"The Ambassador Campaign has been excellent at lifting awareness of Zipt in the marketplace and increasing our install rates," Wallace said in early April.

"Engagement with the app has been outstanding, with many questions fielded by the ambassadors. With 10 million installs achieved, it is now time to move to monetisation in the consumer segment, in tandem with our efforts in the enterprise segment."

ZipTel, which reported a net loss of AU$771,000 for the second quarter of 2015, reported last month that it has spent AU$2.5 million on research and development (R&D).

It reported reaching 6 million users in January, which it attributed to its launch in India; Indian downloads had increased by 36 percent during December to January. ZipTel had always identified India as its core target market, due to the country operating on 2G coverage with low bandwidths.

ZipTel was launched in May 2014, with prepaid travel SIM provider AussieSim raising AU$5 million during a reverse takeover of sports merchandise company Skywards Limited. Thanks to the reverse takeover, the company was able to list on the ASX and launch its Zipt app, which received another AU$5 million in raised funds in November 2014.