Oxio, a telecom-as-a-service (TAAS) platform that turns mobile data into blockchain-based digital assets, raised $40 million in a Series B funding round that was led by ParaFi Capital.
The company offers a white-label product that allows any brand to launch a mobile service and serve as a mobile operator for end users or companies, Oxio CEO Nicolas Girard told CoinDesk. In other words, Oxio develops and operates the service, but other companies sell the service under their own brands.
The company now has 15 clients in Mexico, including Grupo Bimbo, the country’s largest bread maker, and Rappi, a leading food delivery app in the region that uses Oxio to provide internet service to its riders, Girard said.
Ascend, Leydon and CoinDesk parent company Digital Currency Group also participated in the funding round and were joined by previous investors Multicoin Capital, Monashees, Atlantico Capital and FinTech Collective.
The proceeds will be used to accelerate Oxio’s business in Mexico and expand its network to the U.S. and Brazil, Girard said, adding that the company plans to boost its product and engineering teams in the U.S. and Mexico.
“The best way to think about the role of the blockchain is around a wireless data token, so harnessing wireless as an asset class,” Girard previously told CoinDesk. “You’ve never traded wireless because there’s no instrument to address it,” he added.
Integrations with telco companies in the U.S. are “almost done,” Girard said in an interview this week, adding that the company is working on integrations in Brazil, in a process that usually takes five months. According to Girard, current regulations in countries such as Brazil and Mexico require telecommunications or satellite operators to provide access to companies such as Oxio.
The price of mobile data needs to fall by 80% to allow all people in Latin America to be connected, Girar said.
“That is a deadlock that we are in, and the only way we can do that is by opening up access to the infrastructure to companies like us, to create new opportunities and a new business model,” he said.
In November 2020, Oxio raised $13 million in a Series A funding round that was led by Brazilian venture capital firms Monashees and Atlantico Capital. To date, the firm has raised a total of $65 million.
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