Circles.Life enters Aussie market via tie-up with Optus

Virtual telco rolls out services to five areas for a start

Telco start-up Circles.Life has extended its digital services to Australia through a partnership with Singtel's Australian subsidiary Optus, it said yesterday.

Services have been rolled out to New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, with the launch in other states slated for later.

Circles.Life co-founder Rameez Ansar said it has found Australian customers to be "unhappy" with their telcos, adding: We are proud to partner with Optus and we aim to set a new benchmark for customer satisfaction in the country."

The firm - known as a mobile virtual network operator - said it plans to continue its strategy of offering flexible plans and customer service manned by people, not bots.

It has SIM-only plans starting from 20GB for A$28 (S$26), as well as bill shock protection, straightforward pricing and no long-term contracts. It will also offer similar products to the ones provided in Singapore, but tailored for the Australian market, it added.

Circles.Life co-founder Abhishek Gupta had earlier shrugged off the notion that competition in the telco sector is too intense: "If you see Australia as five cities... each of these cities is pretty much like a Singapore in some ways.

"So when people talk about our growth, I say we are not going from one country to four. We are going from one Singapore to 20 Singapores."

In June, Circles.Life rolled out mobile services in Taiwan, its first overseas market, with an undisclosed local network partner, similar to its partnership with M1 here.

Circles.Life has said it also plans to expand to Indonesia this year, and two more markets next year.

It undertook a Series C funding round in February led by venture capital giant Sequoia India. Singapore's Economic Development Board's investment arm was identified as an investor in another funding round announced in June, along with Silicon Valley's Founders Fund.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2019, with the headline 'Circles.Life enters Aussie market via tie-up with Optus'. Print Edition | Subscribe