Virgin Mobile picks up Chilean funding

17 Aug 2012

Virgin Mobile Latin America inked a funding agreement with IFC, a member of the World Bank, to support its Chilean operation.

The US$11 million debt facility will provide Virgin with “the capital to speed its entry into the Chilean mobile market”, the MVNO said in a statement.

In a statement, Virgin said it is in talks with IFC “about partnering to enhance the mobile market in a number of Latin American countries including Brazil and Colombia”.

Since its launch around four months ago, the Chilean operation has signed 65,000 customers, “appealing to youthful Chileans with its strong no-contract voice and data packs, superior customer service, and through its fun and irreverent brand image”.

Earlier this year, Virgin Mobile Latin America secured US$26.5 million of equity funding to support its growth, from investors including Virgin Group and Hermes Growth Partners, a fund co-founded by former Telefonica head Juan Villalonga.

According to Wireless Intelligence figures, the Chilean market is dominated by Entel (9.8 million connections), Telefonica’s Movistar (9.6 million) and America Movil’s Claro (5.7 million).

Guillermo Mulville, principal investment officer in IFC's Telecom, Media and Technology Group, said: "Broadening access to affordable mobile telecommunications services remains a crucial part of enhancing economic development and improving lives across Latin America.”

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps service. His next challenge is to manage and grow our devices channel. He has been a journalist...More

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