Singapore-based mobile network operator Circles.Life has signed a strategic partnership with telco Optus to offer its services in Australia. The operator‘s plan includes bill shock protection, ‘straightforward’ pricing and no long-term contract. This is the second foreign market for Circles.Life after Taiwan.
Circles.Life is a mobile virtual network operator based in Singapore. It applies a cloud-based business model, using Circles-X technology to automate telco systems and cut operational costs by 95%. Circles.Life delivers a customizable mobile service (voice, data, roaming) that users can manage through the Circles.Life app. Since its launch in 2016, it has become the fastest-growing telco in Singapore.
Its services rely on Circles-X, its proprietary software platform in the cloud that allows the company to be agile and flexible. Circles.Life has already expanded beyond telco in Singapore, creating a digital lifestyle and insurance products, with “more in the pipeline.”
Optus is one of Australia’s largest telecommunication services providers, and it’s a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singtel.
Circles.Life co-founder Rameez Ansar said that similar to other countries, it has found Australian customers to be “unhappy” with their telcos, hence the company is looking to step up the game with a premium customer experience.
The company promises efficient customer service for Australian customers, with real people responding to queries at a response time of 20 to 27 seconds through its in-app live chat.
Other than Australia, Circles.Life has said it plans to expand to Indonesia this year, and two more markets in 2020. The company claims to have grown its subscriber base by more than 9x between Q1 2017 and Q1 2019. It also said it has gained a market share of more than 5% in Singapore since its launch in 2016.
Speaking about the launch, Circles.Life Australia general manager Ben Murray said: “We’re stepping up the game by offering a premium customer experience and we dare Australians to like their telco.
Circles.Life has partnered with BMF for creative, Mindshare for media and Edelman for PR and influencers. Known in Singapore for a combative approach to marketing, the brand’s first campaign for Australia is called ‘More Likeable than Hateable’.
In February, it secured an undisclosed amount of Series C investment from Sequoia India to fuel its expansion efforts towards five new markets, including Australia and Taiwan. In June 2019, the company closed another round of funding for an undisclosed amount led by Singapore’s Government-linked EDBI and Founders Fund. This marks the first time the Silicon Valley-based Founders Fund is investing in a telco.