| DUBAI, March 20
DUBAI, March 20 Dublin-based ezetop, a mobile
phone credit top-up provider, will increase revenue by a quarter
this year as it invests more in marketing in its main markets
including the Americas, Middle East and India, the firm's
founder said on Thursday.
Ezetop allows expatriate workers to send mobile phone credit
to people in their home countries and has a virtual private
network connected to about 300 emerging market mobile operators.
The company, which began operations in 2007, will generate
revenue of about $250 million in 2014, up from around $200
million last year, Mark Roden, chairman, chief executive and
majority shareholder, told Reuters.
"The first part was establishing relationships with the
mobile operators, that took five years," Roden said. He said
ezetop became profitable in 2013, but declined to provide
"The logistics of that is immense, but thankfully it's all
done. Now the objective is to increase the volumes into that
This means the company will focus on marketing and
advertising, he said. "People wouldn't be sending top-up home if
there was a better way of getting value back to people who need
The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
are the biggest source markets from which ezetop's customers
send credit, while the most important top-up destinations are
Central America, the Caribbean, India and West Africa.
Roden launched the company after discovering that low-income
Indian workers in Dubai were buying top-up cards for Indian
mobile operators and sometimes paying a mark-up of 30 to 40
percent on the face value of these cards.
"From the start we made a decision to connect directly to
the mobile operator because only then can you guarantee the
top-up is going to be delivered," Roden said. "We don't buy from
Customers can send credit via text message, partner foreign
exchange houses or an online account.
Ezetop takes about 10 percent of top-up amounts in
commission, processing around 70,000 transactions daily, and may
consider acquisitions in the future.
"We would be a consolidator if we felt the partner was
right," added Roden.
(Editing by Jane Merriman)