simyo founders going down under: Shark Holding launches “amaysim”, Australia’s first low-cost mobile service provider

simyo Founders team up with Australian telecoms entrepreneur and advisor Peter O’Connell in their Düsseldorf based investment vehicle Shark Holding, to launch amaysim, Australia’s first low-cost mobile service provider.

Sydney/Düsseldorf November 23rd, 2010 – The four simyo founders Rolf Hansen (former simyo CEO), Thomas Enge (former simyo CFO), Christian Magel (former simyo CMO) and Andreas Perreiter (former simyo COO) have teamed up and become equal partners with Australian telecommunications entrepreneur and advisor Peter O’Connell to launch amaysim, Australia’s first low-cost mobile service provider.

Following their successful exit from simyo at the end of April this year, the team of serial entrepreneurs have joined forces with O’Connell in their Düsseldorf based investment vehicle Shark Holding. Since April, the team has been focussed on identifying new potential markets for their successful low-cost mobile service model.

The low-cost mobile service model was the basis for simyo’s success in five European markets. The company, which launched in 2005 and, according to current owner Royal Dutch KPN/E-Plus, has become the world’s largest Internet based mobile service provider. Over 50 brands across Europe have subsequently followed the simyo model and one out of three Europeans today uses a low-cost mobile service provider.

Eliminating all unnecessary elements of the mobile industry, the low-cost mobile service model is characterized by a clearly differentiated and customer centric proposition: simple and transparent pricing, a pay-as-you-go mobile service with no lock-in contracts and superior customer service combined with the convenience of internet based self-administration.

Following an extensive analysis of potential new markets, Shark Holding identified Australia as the number one opportunity to redefine the mobile services industry with the low-cost mobile service model. With a comparatively small population of 22.5 million, Australia only has one quarter of the population of Germany. However the Australian mobile services industry is over half the size the German market in terms of revenues – reflecting the extensive use of mobile phones in Australia and also the lack of real competition, which has driven up prices.

Representative research commissioned by Shark Holding reveals that Australian mobile users are highly dissatisfied with the complexity of rate plans, and complain about the limited value for money and poor customer service they receive from existing service providers. The survey showed that 67% of all Australians are dissatisfied with their current mobile service provider and that an overwhelming 40% of all Australian’s paying their own mobile phone bill would be interested in switching to the low-cost mobile service model.

“When we first learned about the high prices Australian’s are paying for their mobile usage, we were amazed – when we investigated the complexity of existing offers, the levels of dissatisfaction and the lack of real competition we became certain: this would be the place for our next venture!” says Rolf Hansen, Founder & CEO of Shark Holding and CEO of amaysim. “Based on the pan-European success of our former investment simyo, and the set-up with our partners here down under, we are optimistic regarding our potential in Australia. We see no reason why Australians would want to pay more for mobile services than Europeans, nor why they should be willing to accept inferior customer service” continues Hansen.

Shark´s new venture, Sydney based amaysim Australia Pty Ltd, has struck a favourable wholesale deal with Optus, owned by the world´s third largest mobile operator Singapore Telecom, providing amaysim with access to a state of the art 3G voice, text and data network covering 96% of the Australian population.

amaysim is challenging the market with a SIM-only product which has one low standard call rate of only 15c per minute to any network at any time with no flag-fall Australia wide, offers standard SMS for only 12c per message as well as mobile data at a low 5c per MB. amaysim SIM-cards can be bought online at www.amaysim.com.au or at more than 2000 retail outlets, and can be recharged online or at over 14,000 retail outlets across Australia, including SevenEleven, Harvey Norman, Woolworths Express and Caltex.

With a total funding of AUD $40 Million, and backed by European and Australian private and institutional investors, amaysim is majority owned by Shark Holding and will be managed by the Shark Holding partners and amaysim founders, Peter O’Connell (amaysim Chairman), Rolf Hansen (amaysim Chief Executive Officer), Thomas Enge (amaysim Chief Financial Officer), Christian Magel (amaysim Chief Marketing Officer) and Andreas Perreiter (amaysim Chief Operations Officer).

All German Shark Holding Partners have fully relocated to Sydney with their families to become Australian residents and are operational in the amaysim business on the ground.

More Information:
Andreas Engel
Mobile: + 49 - (0)172 450 7579
Email: engel@takelo.de

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