Another year during which Channel VAS presented spectacular growth of its activity and its size was completed. Channel VAS had an impressive 2018, increasing its global footprint and maintained its position among fintech leaders, providing mobile financial services for underserved people and emerging markets.
At the end of 2018, Channel VAS had an addressable base close to 700 million mobile subscribers that were using our services while its operations accounted for $3 billion of the market’s total $100 billion value. During the year its footprint reached more than 30 countries globally, working with 27 mobile network operators, in regions like the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Europe and of course Africa.
Channel VAS’ rapid expansion, solid business model and of course its potential were among the main criteria that led to last November’s strategic partnership in which Ethos, a leading South African investment company agreed on investing the amount of about $50 million USD in our firm. An investment which will further support the expansion of rapidly growing Channel VAS' footprint globally, while at the same time opening the Mobile Financial sector to Ethos.
Present at the most significant events of mobile sector
Channel VAS’ significant role on the development of mobile ecosystem of emerging markets and specifically the fintech sector was recognized by its presence at the most significant events, both global and regional. For another year, Channel VAS was present at the biggest meeting point of the year, the Mobile World Congress, which was held last February, where it showed its full portfolio of fintech services, like micro and nano cash loans, handset loans and airtime/data loans. A month earlier, our founder and CEO, Bassim Haidar was among several prestigious businessmen who were invited at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he shared his views and experience about the key role technology plays in Africa. On the occasion of the Forum in Davos, Bassim Haidar had several meetings with global leaders, such as the German Chancellor Angela Merkel or Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, in which he discussed investment opportunities in Africa.
Among the highlights of Channel VAS’ strong presence at the significant regional events of the year were the keynote speeches of Bassim Haidar during both GSMA Mobile 360 Series – Africa, held in July in Kigali, Rwanda and Africa Com, which took place in Cape Town, on last November.
Securing our intellectual property
A major step of Channel VAS’ exciting journey during 2018 was our decision to secure our rights on the proprietary technologies that we have first brought to the market. Last summer, Channel VAS Group was granted with exclusive Patents and Intellectual Property rights for its pioneer Airtime Credit and Data Credit products and services, something which was necessary for the protection of our technology innovations and our partners against any infringements or unauthorized efforts from third parties to copy them.
Becoming a global premium fintech and data analytics company was from the very beginning our goal. During 2018 we had made some significant steps but we are just in the middle of our journey. 2019 is already here and we know that we have a lot of work to be done in order to continue to expand our geographical footprint at an even faster pace, bringing financial inclusion to more unbanked and underserved people globally through our innovative services.