has landed $1.2 million in seed funding for its eSIM service.
Cove Fund led the round with a $675,000 investment; other investors included Tech Coast Angels Orange County, Blue Startups and Hawaiian Angels.
Founded in 2018, Celitech’s proprietary API enables travel businesses and apps to offer co-branded eSIM service that can be bundled with other products, creating additional revenues for partners. Celitech’s service, which can save travelers as much as 80% on data roaming, can be activated via QR codes on eSIM-enabled devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Celitech plans to use the seed funding to build out its sales team, expand its service coverage areas and further develop its IP portfolio. Former Amadeus exec Kerri Zeil joined the company in August as business development advisor.
Its technology is active in more than 160 other countries, including the United States, via wireless networks like AT&T, Vodafone and Telefonica.
Mike Benvenuti, one of Cove Fund’s managers, tells Los
Angeles business journal LAINNO that they see “huge market potential for
Celitech to dominate the e-SIM market.”
“We tested Celitech’s e-SIM roaming technology in several
European countries and were amazed at how simple and convenient it was to
connect with the local cellular infrastructure at a fraction of the cost of the
existing data roaming options,” Benvenuti says.
Founder and CEO Ahmad “Al” Fares says he created Celitech due to frustration with the cost of international data roaming while visiting more than 100 countries. Buying local SIM cards – or swapping an existing card for a local one – was also a hassle, he adds.
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Fares initially self-funded the company with $450,000. A
couple of angel investors from his previous companies pitched in another
$275,000. Celitech has raised $2 million total to date.
Fares brought on former VP of Kayak Richard Bratton as co-founder and chief commercial officer of Celitech. The company had a soft launch in Q3 of 2021 and expects to
do a hard launch in Q4 of this year. Fares says he will open a Series A round
next year if Celitech hits monthly revenue targets of $100,000.
In October 2021, digital SIM card provider Airalo, which won the Award for Travel Innovation (Startup Category) at The Phocuswright Conference 2019, raised $5.4 million in Series A funding.