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KORE Acquires Wyless

KORE Wireless Group has announced the acquisition, in an all-cash transaction, of Wyless Group Holdings. Following the completion of this transaction, the combined company will be supported by a staff of more than 350 team members, maintain a customer base of more than 3,000 B2B companies globally and serve in excess of six million subscribers on behalf of those customers. The organization will instantly rise to become one of the six largest providers of M2M/IoT services globally, inclusive of carriers.

“Both Wyless and KORE have a long history, dating back to 2003, of serving the M2M market from its early beginnings through innovation and strong customer relationships. We expect our high-performing teams to come together to push into new realms of software services for tomorrow’s globally connected business environment,” said Alex Brisbourne, CEO of KORE. “That’s where the real excitement lies. We are creating the only true global, technology-rich provider of services for the fastest-growing and most interesting segment of the technology landscape, where data management and telecommunications converge. We believe no other provider can marshal our blend of talented and knowledgeable people, geographic reach and technology platforms. This combination provides greater opportunity for our customers, small and large, to scale, expand and grow their businesses in IoT as they reach out into new markets and geographies.”

The combined business will have extensive physical presence and data center operations in Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America.

“Bringing our combined resources together will allow us to deliver solutions that, quite simply, aren’t available in the market for many to access to date,” said Mike Coffey, CEO, Wyless Group. “We have the strongest financial underpinning in the industry, and will call upon these resources to invest in lock-step with the desires of our customer base. All parties emerge from this transaction with a unified commitment to long-term growth above all else, of which we know we only achieve through creating incredible customer success.”

Fully one-third of the organization will be committed to product development around new technologies, including eSIM services, to help global enterprises build their next generation of solutions quickly, and take better control of “big data” applications and insights.

“Coupled with ubiquitous ability to reach all parts of the globe over 2G, 3G, 4G, GSM, CDMA and satellite networks, we can reliably collect and deliver data anywhere on the planet,” said Brisbourne.

Alex Brisbourne will continue on in his role as CEO of the combined business and Mike Coffey, current CEO of Wyless, will assume the new position of Chief Operating Officer. The executive team will comprise of key executives from both companies.

Robin Duke-Woolley, CEO at Beecham Research, provides comment on today’s announcement from KORE

“KORE’s announcement today of its acquisition of Wyless has been a while in the making, but is hugely significant now it is here. The combined business will have considerably more direct M2M connections than most Mobile Network Operator (MNO) M2M business units worldwide and will be the largest independent M2M network provider worldwide, certainly in terms of revenue. Among other statistics, the combined company has more than 350 staff, a customer base of more than 3,000 B2B companies globally and over 6m direct M2M connections that are significantly revenue generating. There are also further revenue-sharing connections that drive the total overall connection numbers somewhat higher.

Both of these companies commenced operations in 2003 as resellers of cellular airtime, in what was then a nascent M2M market. Both companies have also made significant acquisitions along the way. One of these for Wyless was Aspider M2M in the Netherlands and for KORE it was the acquisition of RACO Wireless in November 2014. Whereas the acquisition of RACO was almost entirely US-centric, Wyless adds both a European and a Latin American dimension. The overall company is now much more international in its scope.

This move is significant for several reasons. First up, there are not many MNOs who are generating M2M revenue at this level. It confirms that the independent reseller market has a great future at both the national and international level – something that many predicted would not happen when the MNOs started to focus harder on the M2M market 6 or 7 years ago. Indeed, Beecham Research’s own data shows that these resellers have in fact been growing at a faster rate than the MNOs over the last few years – both in connection numbers and in revenue terms.

Also significant is what it means for M2M/IoT market development. Uppermost in KORE management’s mind has been the transition to software services – data collection and effective processing of that data to add new value. Unlike many who aspire to provide these services, KORE is coming from a solid grounding in connectivity and where this data comes from. Part of the rationale for the deal is bringing forward introduction of new software services that will add new value in the IoT solutions business.

Thirdly, Beecham Research has been saying for some time that connectivity must not be taken for granted in the new IoT world. As we get to rely more and more on the data from a rapidly increasing population of connected devices and sensors, the need to ensure that there is no discontinuity in those connections also gets stronger.

Contrary to some popular assumptions, connectivity is not a ‘done deal’ and is not heading to be a commodity any time soon. Significant further expansion of the M2M/IoT market needs larger and more flexible connectivity providers to handle this, which KORE for one is now in an increasingly strong position to provide.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine