MyRepublic raises $34m for expansion

Fibre broadband service provider MyRepublic, which last month revealed plans to become the fourth telco here, has raised $34 million in funding from two telco investors.

With its $24 million investment, Sunshine Network, the telecommunications arm of Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas, has become the single largest investor and shareholder in MyRepublic.

The remaining $10 million came from French billionaire Xavier Niel, who also founded mobile and Internet services provider Free in France. The latest injection of funds brings the total amount MyRepublic has received since starting up two years ago to $45 million, and will allow the firm to get going on its expansion plans.

MyRepublic chief executive Malcolm Rodrigues said: "There is a fair amount of strategic benefit as both investors have experience in mobile services."

The funding will chiefly be used for expanding MyRepublic's fibre broadband business in Singapore and New Zealand, said Mr Rodrigues.

Specifically, the firm wants to break into the local enterprise market for fibre broadband, and launch its fibre services in New Zealand by year end. It is still looking to raise about $250 million from financial institutions and mobile operators overseas to kick-start the roll-out of a new mobile network in Singapore.

MyRepublic has started the ball rolling and hopes to hire five staff with mobile technical skills in the next three months to devise a mobile network roll-out plan.

This will involve negotiating with the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) for airwave space. The telco hopeful is also hoping that the IDA will regulate the wholesale rates for mobile airtime so the company will be able to lease from existing telcos SingTel, StarHub and M1 during its first few years of operation.

This article was first published on July 10, 2014.
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