Africa’s top mobile phone seller Transsion is planning to go public on China’s Stock Market and could raise up to Kes. 42.6 billion from the IPO.
The Shenzhen-headquartered company owned by the Chinese has confirmed that it will be listing its shares on Shanghai’s STAR Market, a special market for tech companies.
Transsion has not yet disclosed the day it will IPO, but it first made its listing intentions known in April this year when it filed its first docs with the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Per a statement to Techcrunch, the company’s listing-related efforts are in smooth works while the registration application and issuance are in the pipeline.
Under its Tecno brand, the phone maker is one of the best-known sellers in Africa. It has a manufacturing facility in Ethiopia and recently expanded its footprints in India.
The company intends to use the IPO raise, which converts to USD 1.6 Bn Yuan in building more hubs to assemble phones. Transsion will also spend USD 63 Mn from the money to research and develop its products, inclusive of which is a plan to establish a mobile phone R&D center back home.
The listing comes after more than 10 years of incredible growth for the phone maker. With its many budget-friendly products offered in many African countries, the company has significantly stolen a march on more loud-voiced global mobile phone manufacturers such as Samsung and Apple – perhaps even Huawei.
Transsion is also the brains behind smartphone brands Itel and Infinix, which add up with Tecno to take Africa’s technophile scene by storm. In Nigeria, the company has one of its Research and Development Centers, so the STAR Market raise may go in there as well.
Holding about 54 percent of the feature phone market on the continent, Transsion’s focus on Nigeria and other parts of Africa is definitely paying off.
According to official records, the company sold about 124 million phones across the globe in 2018. From these sales, Transsion generated USD 3.9 Bn in revenue, a number with which it comes second to Samsung and ahead of Huawei, which is yet another Chinese phone maker. It also has retail shops in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Egypt.
Transsion has made the mark by channeling all it has exclusively on African and South Asian markets. Additionally, the company produces phones that show off locally-tailored features, including multiple SIM slots, more durable batteries, and camera technology that have been calibrated to darker skin tones.
Most, importantly, Transsion’s pricing strategy is way cheaper than that of other brands, no wonder why it surpassed Samsung’s market share for the first time in 2017.
Africa’s mobile phone and subscriber penetration is currently at an all-time high, even as it continues to change from basic USSD phones to features and smartphones. According to the GSMA, smartphone adoption on the continent, despite being still low, will grow to 67 percent by 2025.