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iBasis owner makes seventh acquisition with SMS aggregator

Alexandre Pébereau Tofane iBasis.jpg

Tofane Global’s iBasis has bought SMS aggregator Dimoco Messaging in an attempt to win a greater share of a global market expected to reach US$38 billion in 2025.

Dimoco Messaging, based in Liechtenstein and Austria, delivers around two billion messages per year, and Tofane Global expects mobile services will contribute €100 million to the company’s revenues this year – about 20% of the total group revenue, which “above €500 million”, said Alexandre Pébereau (pictured), CEO of iBasis and founder and CEO of Tofane.

Pébereau told Capacity: “New services are growing at 20-30% a year and are becoming meaningful for all our activities.”

The acquisition, which was completed on 29 December but was being announced only this morning, takes the whole Tofane group to 400 staff.

Pébereau was travelling to Vienna today, along with chief strategy officer Patrick George, to brief Dimoco staff on their plans for the company. “They [Dimoco] are getting back from vacation on Monday,” said Pébereau.

Over the past few years Tofane Global has acquired seven companies in the global communications market, in areas including international voice, mobile data and SMS messaging, internet of things (IoT) and 5G. It has acquired businesses from Altice Europe and its offshoots, including SFR, as well as NOS and Simfony.

The company claims more than 1,000 customers worldwide in 26 countries.

“We are using our own resources to buy Dimoco,” Pébereau told Capacity. “We do not need additional debt.”

Now the group, which former Orange executive Pébereau set up in 2017, “is systematically hunting for targets” for new acquisitions. Dimoco is its first purchase since Simfony in early 2022.

The mobile services business, which Pébereau says is one of the group’s three pillars, was worth $26.5 billion in 2022. “That’s twice the voice market,” he said.

Cameron Calof, managing director of Dimoco Messaging, welcomed the acquisition by iBasis: “We share the same entrepreneurial spirit, business ethics and customer-centric approach, and are committed to delivering a high level of quality and reliability for messaging worldwide. We are thrilled for our employees and customers as this acquisition opens a new era of possibilities and growth.”

The company is interested in expanding into Asia Pacific, Pébereau told Capacity. “We are regularly reviewing acquisition opportunities in this region but as we are very disciplined on the delivery of our M&A strategy, we have yet to find the perfect match in terms of getting the right business run by the right team, and at the right valuation.”

He said it “is crucial for Tofane Global to be able to continue our journey of efficient integration, which is a distinctive trait of Tofane Global, for each new acquisition into our current organization”, and explained: “This is very important for our long-term growth but even more important to ensure that our new colleagues from new acquisitions feel that they are totally embedded into the Tofane family rapidly and efficiently.”