CX Partners Investing $30M In Mobile Calling Card Firm Matrix Cellular

29 Mar, 2011

CX Partners, a Delhi based private equity firm founded by ex-CVCI head Ajay Relan, has invested $30 million in mobile calling card service provider Matrix Cellular (International) Services Pvt. Ltd for a significant minority stake, sources with the direct knowledge of the deal told VCCircle.

An email sent to Ajay Relan, Founder & Managing Director, CX Partners did not elicit any response till the time of writing this article.

Founded in 1995, Matrix is essentially calling card service which allows its users to keep in touch wherever they are in the world. Their services include Indian SIM cards, international SIM cards and data solutions. Matrix provides international mobile communication services specifically designed for bulk buyers such as mobile rental companies, event organisers and telecom vendors.

Matrix povides access to over 30 international high performance networks, with a post paid connection – with no hassle of topping up or recharging. It claims that its billing platform is designed with protection schemes and credit alerts, continuous monitoring and real-time management.

Calling card companies leverage on the fact that users can deal with one provider than dealing with several networks. Through direct operator relationships and partner channels, it can provide country-specific post-paid SIMs for more than 30 networks around the world.

According to analysts, the growth of companies like Matrix is directly co-related to the GDP of the world. This goes on to say that as people become more mobile - travelling from one country to another, be it for leisure or work, the relevance of such companies will only reach greater heights.

Talking specifically about Matrix, an analyst, who did not wish to be quoted, said, "They clearly have got the first mover advantage. They are now at right price points at right places like airports with partnerships with credit card companies, so they are gaining traction by way of making the product easy and convenient to their users".

While in the medium term, the investment thesis for such companies looks positive, there are very high chances of big companies adopting technologies like tele-presence resulting in challenges for such communication services companies, the analyst added.

This is not the first time institutional capital is flowing into Matrix. In 2009, it sold some stake to BCCL Private Treaties, now known as Brand Capital.

Founded in 2009, CX Partners has invested $25.71 million in NTL Electronics India Ltd (electrical components & equipment), an undisclosed amount in Convexity Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (investment banking & brokerage), $33.74 million in Monnet Ispat & Energy Ltd. (steel manufacturing) and in Thyrocare ( a diagnostics chain).