SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Kevin Benedict, Gilad Parann-Nissany

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OVIVO Mobile 'Paid for by Advertising' Network Seeks £3 Million Funding to Support Next Phase of Rapid Growth

LONDON, February 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

OVIVO Mobile, a fast-growing UK mobile virtual network operator that gives users free airtime in return for targeted adverts while helping brands achieve deeper customer engagement, is seeking investment of £3 million in 2014 for its next stage of planned expansion.

The London-based network operator, which already has more than 50,000 subscribers, plans to accelerate its UK growth before implementing international expansion from early 2015.

OVIVO has appointed Strand Hanson as its corporate finance advisers.

OVIVO provides free SIM card-only mobile services for smartphones, tablets and dongles, in return for targeted advertising. Since users choose to receive relevant adverts, the fast-growing customer base is helping UK brands and advertisers target A and B as well as C and D socio-economic groups. OVIVO's services are delivered over the Vodafone network.

OVIVO anticipated the UK's further shift towards mobile advertising and commerce: researcher eMarketer has estimated that UK mobile advertising will exceed £1 billion in 2014¹ while IMRG has reported that total online sales in the UK rose 18% year-on-year in December 2013 to £11.1 billion, with mobile and tablet sales accounting for 6% of that figure.²

OVIVO's development has also demonstrated a strategic and phased approach to both growth and funding. Dariush Zand, founder and CEO of OVIVO Mobile, has worked in the telecommunications industry since the mid-90s and was instrumental in the launch of 3G services to the UK market back in 2004. With £500,000 of his own money, he launched OVIVO in April 2012. Following a successful year of crowdfunding in 2013, Dariush raised an additional £1 million for OVIVO and received Crowdcube's 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year award earlier this year.

"OVIVO Mobile is setting savvy consumers free from 'traditional' mobile phone contracts by offering innovative airtime packages backed by outstanding customer service," says Dariush Zand. "We are achieving rapid expansion through organic growth and partnerships with media groups. As a result, we are now helping UK advertisers and brands engage with their readers and customers in a more targeted and authentic way, through contextual marketing with two-way communication that goes beyond 'static' first generation mobile apps, geo-data-driven 'push' offers and interactions, and cost-effective leveraging of mobile usage data," he adds.

Notes

¹ http://bit.ly/1bEzaqj

² http://bit.ly/1hp8fBh

About OVIVO Mobile

OVIVO Mobile is a fast-growing UK mobile virtual network operator that gives users free airtime in return for targeted adverts while helping brands achieve closer customer engagement through intent-driven marketing and interactions. Launched in 2012, OVIVO had more than 50,000 UK subscribers as at 31st January 2014. OVIVO's free airtime products start with Freedom 0 which offers 250 minutes of calls, 300 text messages and 500MB data, while OVIVO's online access options begin with its Data 0 product that delivers 1000MB of data. Customers can register for the prepaid mobile phone service online at: http://www.ovivomobile.com.

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