May 1, 2024

Light Reading Article

RiPSIM learns to be flexible in courting operators


Startup RiPSIM initially hoped to license its technology to network operators. But the company quickly learned it would need to embrace a variety of business models to be successful.

Founded in the middle of the pandemic in 2021, startup RiPSIM Technologies initially hoped to license its technology to its network operator customers and call it a day. But the company quickly learned it would need to be more flexible than that.

“Some carriers outright didn’t like that model,” Chris Jahr, RiPSIM’s CEO and co-founder, told Light Reading.

So, RiPSIM went back to the drawing board and decided it would need to offer its SIM-development technology using a variety of business models to be successful. Now, the company sells its technology as a monthly service, under a transactional pricing model and via other mechanisms. 

“We’re giving customers what they want,” Jahr said.

RiPSIM and other suppliers are finding that they need to get creative because network operators in the US and globally are slimming their operations. The slowdown in growth has put the squeeze on vendors, with bankruptcies becoming commonplace.

“We’ve been working feverishly,” Jahr added.

Winning customers

As Light Reading previously reported, RiPSIM offers operators a way to generate their own eSIMs in minutes. This can save operators time and money and provide an extra layer of security since they won’t have to involve other, foreign suppliers in the SIM process.

In that regard, RiPSIM is targeting SIM heavyweights like Thales DIS (formerly Gemalto) and Giesecke & Devrient (G&D).

RiPSIM is making progress. The company reported this week it has won three small US customers so far: Hawaii-based wireless carrier Mobi, Colorado-based security startup Sempre and South Dakota-based telecom provider James Valley Wireless (JVW). Jahr said RiPSIM is also in advanced trials with a bigger, Tier 1 operator.

Each of RiPSIM’s three new customers signed on for different reasons, Jahr said. For example, JVW aimed to reduce costs, while Sempre was looking for the security that comes with domestic technology providers.

Further, Jahr argued that interest in RiPSIM’s technology also stems from the growing clamor around private wireless networks and IoT services because eSIMs can be used to activate new customers on such networks.

“We’re starting to see the eSIM explode in uptake,” he said.

Getting certified

But selling eSIMs isn’t a simple process, according to Jahr.

Initially, RiPSIM planned to simply license its technology to network operators. Under that model, the company would not have needed to obtain the GSMA’s SIM certification, which is required of all new eSIM providers to prevent fraud. But in order to pursue other business models, such as providing monthly access to its SIM-management technology, RiPSIM realized it would need to obtain the certification.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s a very painful process to go through,” Jahr said.

RiPSIM was ultimately successful in obtaining the GSMA’s eSIM certification, but the process slowed the company’s original sales plan. “We’re a little behind in terms of customer acquisition,” Jahr said.

This week, RiPSIM announced general availability of its Rapid Integrated Platform for eSIM lifecycle management. The product runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Now, with a total of $3 million in venture funding and a new VP of sales, RiPSIM is hoping to kick-start its momentum in the market. 

“The trick is to be flexible,” Jahr said.

AUTHOR: Mike Dano

Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading