LINK in Short
LINK Mobility (LINK) was founded by the Chairman, Jens Rugseth, in 2000.
Some quick facts and figures about LINK Mobility:
LINK now has 500 employees in 28 offices across 18 European countries
Pro forma 2020 Revenue NOK 3.7bn
Adjusted EBITDA NOK 435 million
Net debt NOK 1.2 billion year-end 2020
Serving more than 40.000 customers
Sending over 10 billion messages a year
LINK is operating in the digital messaging industry. When the company was founded, short message service (SMS) from person-to-person (P2P) was well established, while application-to-person (A2P) SMS was new. LINK has developed the A2P market in Norway, which is the most mature and advanced messaging market in the world today. From its foothold in Norway, LINK first expanded in Scandinavia and then beyond with the acquisition of Whatever Mobile in Germany in 2016. Since 2016, LINK has completed more than 20 acquisitions across Europe and the company is now the market leader in mobile digital messaging on the European continent.
Check out LINK’s history and acquisitions here.
A2P messaging is an application that sends thousands or millions of one-way messages from an enterprise or government entity to customers or citizens. Mobile users will recognize both notifications and marketing types of messages. The importance of digital messaging has naturally grown with the increased penetration of mobile phones, as A2P messaging utilizes the telecom networks. LINK will orchestrate the messages from enterprises or governments and send them through all relevant telecom operator networks to the end users. The telecom operators are thus channel suppliers to LINK.
Until the shift from mobile phones to smart phones, telecom networks were the only digital messaging channel. However, with the rise of new internet-based apps, there are now a multitude of new possibilities. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Viber and many other over-the-top (OTT) channels are now the preferred way to communicate for many people. OTT refers to internet streamed content, historically devices that go “over-the-top” of the cable TV box.
These new channels provide vast new opportunities for digital communication but also greatly increased complexity. Orchestration is no longer just between telecom operators but additionally the multitude of new internet-based channels. This shift has given rise to a new industry, communication-platform-as-a-service (CPaaS), to manage the complexity and facilitate the opportunities these new technologies present.
Here are the channels LINK offers today.
From Black and White to Color
While standard SMS is limited to 160 characters in “black and white,” the new OTT channels have no such limitations. SMS is also evolving to SMS 2.0 or rich communication services (RCS), which is being adopted in several European countries. RCS can offer similar features to the new OTT channels but is distributed over the telecom networks.
Digital messages will become much more colorful and interesting with the new mediums. Richer content gives more user engagement. Engaged customers are more loyal, and enterprises increasingly see the importance of investing in digital messaging solutions. The new technologies are seamless and establish two-way messaging, or digital conversations, as the standard for enterprises and governments to interact with customers and citizens.
The CPaaS market, which LINK operates in, is expected to triple over the coming years.