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Ding founder eyes IPO after selling stake to Pollen Street

written by Bella Palmer

While no financial details about the transaction have been disclosed, industry sources estimate the equity value to be around $300 million

Private-equity firm Pollen Street Capital has acquired a majority stake in Irish mobile top-up service provider Ding in a multimillion-euro deal.

While no financial details about the transaction have been publicly disclosed, industry sources estimate the equity value to be around $300 million.

Founder and chief executive Mark Roden and his family remain the company’s biggest shareholders. It is the first external investment for Ding, which has largely bootstrapped its way to success.

In addition to the Roden family, tech veterans David Hargaden, Ray Nolan and Dermot Halpin, who all serve as company directors of Ding, and employees will benefit from the transaction.

He told The Irish Times that Ding had grown by more than 40 per cent during the pandemic and is well positioned to expand further as the Covid crisis abates. He said that with six billion prepaid phones in the world and an ever-increasing demand for mobile data, there is a huge opportunity to offer more products and services to current and future customers.

When you consider the fact that half of the world’s population are in so-called emerging markets where prepaid is dominant, the need for credit remains constant, Mr Roden said.

We are at an interesting crossroads because we’re not a start-up anymore and for us to progress further we need to use this opportunity to invest in attracting more talent to ensure future growth and either go public or be acquired, he added.

Mr Roden said he would ultimately like to see Ding becoming a publicly-listed company. I would like to see us doing an initial public offering at some point as I think it would be a great outcome for everyone.

Pollen Street’s investment will support Ding to continue to grow in new and existing markets, to expand its technology platform, and to develop additional products.


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