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ZipTel to target Indian market following Q2 loss

Travel SIM and telecommunications company ZipTel has its sights set on expansion into India, recording a second quarter loss of AU$771,000 following the launch of its international communications app Zipt.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor on

Australian telecommunications provider, ZipTel has reported a second quarter 2015 operating net loss of AU$771,000.

ZipTel -- formerly AussieSim -- became publicly listed in May last year after securing a AU$5 million reverse takeover of sports merchandise company, Skywards Limited.

The pre-paid travel SIM aspect of the former company still remains, with AussieSim now operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of ZipTel.

AussieSim reported total revenue of AU$96,972 for this quarter, up 73 percent on its first quarter result last year with first time SIM purchase revenue sitting at AU$20,057, a 116 percent increase on Q1 2015. SIM card "top-up" revenue recorded a 56 percent increase on last quarter at AU$68,168, and call forwarding revenue was also up by 165 percent totaling AU$8,747.

The recently launched international communications app Zipt, which allows users to send text messages and make international calls for free to other people with the Android-only app, recorded a revenue of CA$50,000 whilst still in beta phase.

In November last year, the company raised a AU$5 million institutional share placement to drum up interest in Zipt, saying that the proceeds will enable ZipTel to "aggressively increase its marketing efforts and accelerate subscriber acquisitions ahead of the imminent launch of the ZipT application next month".

ZipTel CEO Umberto Mondello told shareholders that the company's directors are "delighted" with the performance of Zipt since its launch in June 2015, with the Zipt app receiving 300,000 subscribers within the first two weeks of going live.

With India as its target, the telco signed Australian cricketer Brett Lee as its ambassador for the product, and as part of the deal, Lee receives an equity and royalty package which the company says will incentivise customer acquisition by the speed bowler.

"Brett Lee has over 4.2 million followers across his social media platforms and his popularity in India is particularly prominent, after his successes in Bollywood films and appearances in the Indian Premier League," Mondello said.

"India is a key market for the Zipt app as it still operates predominantly on 2G coverage and low bandwidths."

In February this year, ZipTel secured a memorandum of understanding with global satellite communications provider SpeedCast. Under the agreement, SpeedCast will white label the Zipt application and platform, which has been rebranded under the company's SpeedTalk portfolio.

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