Singapore’s MyRepublic receives SGD30m from investors as it looks to ‘break’ local market

9 Jul 2014

Singaporean fibre broadband provider MyRepublic has received a cash injection of SGD30 million (USD24.1 million) from two of its investors – Indonesian telco Sunshine Network (SGD20 million) and French telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel (SGD10 million) – as it looks to carve out a niche as the state’s fourth operator. In an interview with TODAY, MyRepublic CEO Malcolm Rodrigues confirmed the company’s bold plan to take the fight to incumbent operators SingTel, StarHub and M1.

Sunshine Network, which is owned by the conglomerate Sinar Mas, is said to be interested in adopting MyRepublic’s ‘low-cost model and sharing its platform’, while Xavier Niel aims to ‘piggyback off MyRepublic’s expansion to countries such as New Zealand and Australia’.

In June this year, MyRepublic submitted its formal application to become the city-state’s fourth operator, after the industry regulator the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) requested public feedback on the allocation of spectrum and on ways to enhance mobile competition. It is understood that the newcomer will need about SGD250 million to set up a new mobile network, but as its proposal has yet to be approved by the IDA, its two investors will initially target its fibre broadband business, as well as supporting marketing initiative, Mr Rodrigues said. MyRepublic has been operating so-called ‘disruption’ tactics in the market by offering a 1Gbps fibre broadband plan priced at only SGD50 a month – well below the prices set by its rivals – and is keen to create even more waves by proposing a consolidation with other smaller players. Mr Rodrigues notes that the three target firms operate primarily in the business segment, which will complement its own largely retail consumer base. MyRepublic currently commands about 5% of the domestic broadband market, something that Mr Rodrigues is confident he can grow to about 7%-8% over the next three to four years.

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