TOMIA launches after Telarix-Starhome Mach merger

15 February 2019 | Jason McGee-Abe

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A new rebranded company, TOMIA, has launched after the successful merger of analytics firm Telarix and roaming and settlement company Starhome Mach.

TOMIA says it’s has created a new category for connectivity as it launches the “first end-to-end connectivity platform for maximising revenue and margin management across roaming and interconnect”.

The new brand and management structure, following the merger first announced in October, seeks to optimise international agreements, preventing fraud in real time, driving benefits from advanced technologies such as VoLTE, NFV, and 5G.

“With growing pressures on operators and carriers to generate new revenues and increase margins, the need for transformative connectivity has never been greater,” said Marco Limena, CEO of TOMIA (pictured).

“We are excited to come to market with a unique, end-to-end offering that addresses these strategic needs.  We are committed to the development of new solutions and services that will continue to transform connectivity for service providers all over the world.”

TOMIA has launched with a clear vision to lead innovation that will support digital transformation and connectivity, with services such as 5G, VoLTE, NFV and technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain. The company is currently developing a project for a large operator group to launch the first VoLTE and NFV infrastructure in the industry.

Leveraging on the core capabilities of these two companies, which optimise CSP profitability, the TOMIA offering constitutes "the industry’s only solution to cover both roaming and interconnect to support the new needs of complex connectivity in the age of digital transformation".

The value of the transaction has not been revealed and Limena, who was CEO of Telarix, said to Capacity in October, said: “We don’t disclose financial details.” The companies united after Vista Equity Partners, which already owned Telarix, bought 100% of Starhome Mach from another private equity company. “Vista has taken full ownership of Starhome,” Limena added to Capacity. “This puts us at the centre of digital transformation. We uniquely start being able to address the wholesale side of the business.”

Vista bought 22-year-old Telarix in 2016, but did not disclose the price. Telarix “is a leading provider of interconnect and settlement software solutions to telecom communication service providers (CSPs) worldwide … enabling and optimising the connecting, routing and transfer of voice, video, and data from one CSP’s network to another”.

Starhome Mach itself is a creation of a relatively recent merger. In 2013, Syniverse Technologies wanted to buy the whole of the then independent Mach for €550 million, but the European Commission was concerned about the market dominance of the resulting company in data clearing services and near trade roaming data exchange (NRTRDE) services in the European Economic Area (EEA). The Commission said: “Syniverse and Mach are the two largest providers of these services in the EEA and globally.”

As a result, Syniverse was forced to divest some Mach assets, which Starhome bought later in 2013. Starhome was founded in Israel in 1999 but is now headquartered in Switzerland. Israeli private equity group Fortissimo Capital bought it in 2004 for $80 million and still lists it as an investment, under the Starhome Mach name. In October 2013 the unified Starhome Mach said it had 400 employees worldwide.

The combined company will have more than 400 customers in 130 countries, he said. TIM’s Sparkle has worked with both Telarix and Starhome Mach, according to Capacity’s own records. According to Limena, the combined forces of Telarix and Starhome Mach will now have “more than 500” employees between them.

Itai Margalit, who was CEO of Starhome Mach, is now president of roaming and clearing services at TOMIA. He said in October: “Telecommunication carriers and providers are challenged with managing the complexities of achieving seamless, ubiquitous connectivity for their customers. We are seeing demand for a single supplier who can provide fully integrated end-to-end solutions. By Starhome Mach merging with Telarix, we can bring this innovation to the market and exceed customer requirements.”

Margalit added: “Our success in launching SaaS [software as a service] versions of our leading roaming and clearing platforms introduced a variety of other innovative solutions in real-time anti-fraud, network functions virtualisation and internet of things (IoT). We are excited to bring together the complementary solutions, teams and knowledge of the two companies.”

With the new TOMIA offering, the company says this is “the first time that operators and carriers can benefit from one, unified view of the end-to-end connectivity process, margins and customer journey. By monitoring the full scope of activities on a single platform, carriers and operators are able to better manage their margins and optimise agreements as well as identify fraud in real time, thereby decreasing their overall costs and risk”.