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Wireless Logic buys cellular IoT roaming provider Arkessa

Private equity group ECI Partners has sold IoT roaming provider Arkessa to IoT and SIM management company Wireless Logic for an undisclosed fee. The UK-based venture firm said it had made a 210 percent return on its original investment (ROI) in Arkessa, and an internal rate of return (IRR) of over 30 percent. 

Arkessa offers worldwide cellular-based IoT connectivity services. ECI, which describes itself as a “growth focused mid-market private equity firm”, bought into the firm in mid-2018; Arkessa has delivered “consistent double-digit growth” in subscription revenues in the intervening period, it said. It acquired Netherlands-based Sim Services in August, to support its “international growth ambitions”.

ECI said Arkessa is “one of the few independent businesses of scale in the IoT market”. The private equity group was also invested in Wireless Logic, between 2011 to 2015. Both Arkessa and Wireless Logic are based in the UK, too.

Andrew Orrock, chief executive at Arkessa, said: “ECI’s exceptional track record and understanding of the IoT market was a real draw when we began our partnership in 2018. Thanks to its support, we were able to continue to fuel our international growth and focus on our goal to ‘future proof’ enterprise IoT connections. Wireless Logic is a natural choice for the next stage of our journey.”

Oliver Tucker, chief executive at Wireless Logic, said: “This is a landmark acquisition for Wireless Logic, putting the group in a stronger position to serve the needs of the market as it continues to evolve. Arkessa will strengthen the group’s routes to market, bolster team expertise and boost eUICC capabilities, paving the way for further sustained business growth in the years ahead.”

Paul McCreadie, partner at ECI, said: “Arkessa has proved to be extremely resilient despite the challenging backdrop of 2020. Wireless Logic is a great fit for Arkessa and we would like to thank both teams for a successful partnership as we wish them all the best for their combined future.”  

Global roaming has remained a challenge for the broad IoT sector, with mainstream telecoms operators running NB-IoT and LTE-M infrastructure only just starting to strike deals to enable simple roaming between territories. Last month, Nordic Semiconductor announced a deal with Arkessa to offer wider international cellular IoT connectivity with its nRF9160 system-in-package (SiP), the Trondheim-based firm’s flagship dual-mode LTE-M and NB-IoT module. 

Arkessa claims an “unrivalled multi-network capability spanning all regions of the world”, to offer “pole-to-pole coverage” via a single managed service – from a single provider in a single interface. Nordic described Arkessa as “one of the world’s most highly-regarded” cellular IoT providers in the context of the challenge of global IoT roaming.

“There isn’t a global IoT roaming agreement in place today; customers ship these trackers with three or four SIMs. But you can’t go around changing SIMs,” the firm told these pages, as part of the recent editorial report on asset tracking – Asset tracking – and the march towards massive IoT. The deal with Arkessa seeks to solve this issue for IoT users.

ECI manages around £1.7 billion on behalf of our institutional investors. Its previous investments in the IoT sector include Wireless Logic, Peoplesafe and CSL.

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