Truphone raises over £255m from investors to retire its debt

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Ralph Steffens: “The investment is a vote of confidence and is an important step in our goal to power billions of connected devices”

Truphone has retired the entirety of its debt after raising more than £255m from investors, as it targets to break even in 2018.Over £239 million worth of debt has been wiped by the London-based firm, with the rest of the funds to be used for potential strategic investments.

The debt was incurred over the last six years due to investments made by the firm during that period, according to chief executive officer Ralph Steffens, and the money was raised from Truphone’s investor community with no external contributions.

According to Creditsafe, it reported turnover of £31.3 million for the 12 months ending December 31, 2016 – up from £25.7m one year earlier. Truphone reported losses in pre-tax profit of £56.8 million, improving on the £69.2 million figure it reported for 2015.

“We were looking to address that figure (£239m debt), but also to get money on the balance sheet,” said Steffens.“The trade position of the company has improved substantially over the last 18 months and we are on target to break even in 2018.

“It also allows us to do some strategic investment, which may or may not come up.” The firm struck a partnership with Apple in July, where Truphone will offer data plans for iPad users utilising Apple SIM. Steffens confirmed that more partnerships are in the pipeline, but refused to comment on details.

Truphone employs 350 members of staff globally, 75 in its London headquarters. It claims to serve 3,500 business to business customers globally.

Steffens added: “I see this latest investment as a significant vote of confidence from our investors in our growth strategy, and our ambition to continue scaling the business globally. It is an important step in achieving our long-term goal to power billions of connected devices around the world.”

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