By ILYA BALASHOV AND MIKE KORNEV, MTX CONNECT CO-FOUNDERS

ELEVATOR PITCH

MTX Connect is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) which provides mobile Internet in Europe for travelers and their connected devices. The MTX solution for travelers is a pre-paid SIM card which provides a convenient, cost-competitive way to avoid expensive roaming charges in more than 30 European countries.

PRODUCT/SERVICE DESCRIPTION

MTX Connect has built a platform which can serve three verticals—travelers, connectivity technology for IoT (Internet of Things) devices with heavy data usage, and a wholesale/white label solution.

The SIM card for travelers is convenient and competitively priced so they can avoid expensive roaming charges. MTX Connect is a pre-paid SIM card for mobile Internet designed for second devices such as tablets, smartphones, and USB modems for laptops, and can be used for iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile devices. Travelers can utilize unlimited 3G data at a single flat rate across numerous European countries.

MTX Connect’s IoT technology provides connectivity for devices which need to be connected within Europe, and can be integrated with different software and hardware solutions.

The wholesale and white label vertical allows MTX Connect to offer tailor-made solutions on top of its current platform. Main partners are MVNOs (from any country), travel agencies or travel-related businesses, airlines and IoT integrators.

MTX Connect SIM

FOUNDERS’ STORY

While working in various positions in the telecom industry, we traveled frequently and experienced the recurring problem of staying connected. This led us to start MTX Connect and provide a solution to this growing problem so many travelers faced. We worked together to found MTX Connect and have grown the company and its customer base significantly since launching.

MARKETING/PROMOTION STRATEGY

On the production side, the MTX Connect backbone strategy is to develop strong partnerships across the mobile industry. MTX Connect is empowered by more than 80 direct connect agreements with mobile carriers across Europe, such as Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, Hutchinson 3G, Telefonica, and beyond.

The marketing strategy for the travel vertical relies on partnerships with travel industry leaders.

MTX Connect works with major frequent flyer programs such as Lufthansa’s Miles & More and airBaltic PINS, which provide MTX Connect with access to more than 30 million frequent travelers worldwide.

Another direction of growth for MTX Connect is promotions with different offline and online travel and travel-related projects. MTX Connect currently offers a direct-to-consumer solution as travelers can easily order—with free shipping—and activate their SIM card online.

MARKET OPPORTUNITY

According to the 2013 EU Commission report, the roaming revenue in Europe (except intra-Europe) was €28 billion. According to Syniverse Research, in 2014 87 percent of travelers were ‘silent’ roamers (meaning zero usage of data roaming).

There are four main competitors in this industry: Keepgo, Globalgig, Skyroam, ComfortWay.

Other competitors are data roaming plans from existing mobile carriers. As big operators have faced some backlash in the past with data roaming, there is a level of distrust when travelers are faced with using data roaming from their current providers while abroad. Unlike carriers, MTX Connect does not offer any additional bundled services or require a contract, and customers are not required to purchase additional hardware to utilize its services. MTX Connect plans to expand its network coverage to North America, Asia and South America.

HOW WE’RE UNIQUE

All of MTX Connect’s competitors offer service as third-party resellers of mobile operators or/and require customers to buy a MiFi device (a mobile Wi-Fi that costs as much as $100) to be connected to its service. MTX Connect harbors its service solely and the connection cost for the consumer is virtually zero. Therefore, this gives MTX Connect the opportunity to provide a viable solution to two additional product verticals (IoT and wholesale/white label) on the same platform, while its competitors do not have this capability.

BUSINESS MODEL

MTX Connect provides mobile access to the Internet through different plans for consumers, IoT professionals and wholesale partners. Each megabyte of mobile Internet used through its platform is paid by customers, from rates as low as $11 per day.

CURRENT NEEDS

MTX Connect is looking for additional capital to support its growth, marketing activities, and new partners for target markets in North America, South America, Asia, and the Middle East.

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MTX logoHEADQUARTERS: Bettembourg, Luxembourg

WEBSITE: www.mtxc.eu

FOUNDERS: Ilya Balashov, Mike Kornev

INVESTORS: Unnamed investment fund, Angel investors

YEAR FOUNDED: 2013

TWITTER: @mtxconnect

LINKEDIN: linkedin.com/company/3352423

CRUNCHBASE: crunchbase.com/organization/mtx-connect