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International founders secure $1M seed funding for stealth startup targeting mobile plan revolution via eSIM tech


Lack of access to mobile infrastructure, legacy telco systems, lengthy timelines and high set-up costs are among some of the biggest challenges for brands looking to monetize their customers with mobile plans.

London-based embedded mobile connectivity startup shaka is working with brands to offer mobile plans to customers instantly, at no cost, with a SaaS end-to-end product and a simple API layer, driving significant revenue opportunities and customer loyalty in the process. They’re able to do this through innovation in eSIM technology.

Coming out of stealth mode now, the firm has announced a $1M seed funding round led by Haatch, a UK-based seed fund, Purple Ventures, the VC firm backing purpose-led tech startups in Central and Eastern Europe and Antler, an early stage VC in Europe, alongside a number of prominent telecommunications angel investors. 

With the latest raised, shaka aims to use eSIM technology to allow brands to offer mobile packages to consumers at the click of a button. This technology is already revolutionising the telco space by disrupting a value chain dominated by traditional telecoms providers and shaka has already signed up a number of large brands to adopt the new technology.

The latest figures suggest that the eSIM market is already worth $4.7bn. By 2025, 98% of operators globally plan to offer eSIM technology in mobile devices and eSIM penetration is expected to jump from 20% in 2023 to 80% over the next five years. The impact of this change means the market value is expected to increase to $16.3BN by 2027, driven partially also by Apple’s switch to eSIM-only handsets.

The newly secured funding round positions the company to fully capitalise on the burgeoning market growth. By onboarding a roster of distinguished high-profile clients from diverse sectors such as entertainment, retail, and fintech, who have expressed keen interest in providing mobile packages through the platform, the company is poised to unlock substantial opportunities. 

With this financial support, the company is also strategically poised to embark on the realisation of its global vision, extending its reach beyond the confines of the UK market. This expansion aims to empower brands to seamlessly implement mobile networks for their customer base on a global scale, marking a significant step towards achieving widespread accessibility and impact.

Jonas Jelinek, co-founder of shaka, comments, “After banking and insurance, telecoms is next on the list of legacy industries ready to be disrupted and fundamentally uprooted with technology and a truly customer-first approach. Offering mobile plans to your customers – something that today takes over a year and costs millions of dollars to do, can be done with shaka with a single API call.” 

Fred Soneya, Co-Founder & Partner at Haatch, comments, “Brands are closer to consumers than ever before, giving them a unique vantage point to offer tailored mobile packages. shaka recognizes this shift and is empowering businesses to leverage this proximity to better connect with and monetize their customers through mobile services. I can’t think of a better team than Jonas, Charlie and Eli who impressed us with their individual track records in telco and as serial entrepreneurs but also with the way they complement each other.”

International founders who met at Antler

The founders of shaka first met during an Antler residency in London in 2023. An international team from Czechia, Israel and UK, they are serial entrepreneurs with a complementary skill-set following decades of experience in telco, software engineering and venture-building.

Jonas Jelinek is the CEO and co-founder. Born in Czechia, he is the founder of a fiber broadband telco business with experience working at top-tier consulting firms such as BCG and Altman Solon and leading strategy and operations for the fintech scaleup, Teya. 

Eli Magzimof is the CTO of shaka. He is a serial entrepreneur with a number of successful exits and was formerly R&D Director at Phantom Auto, an Israeli autonomous vehicles company. 

And Charlie Newman is a British serial entrepreneur who has founded two SaaS, VC backed startups in London. Charlie has held a number of senior product, leadership and software engineering roles at startups and began his career at American Express. 

Sarah Finegan, Director at Antler, comments, “Antler is doubling down on its investments in eSIM technology to bring information and communication to more people around the world. We backed Airalo in Singapore which is now bringing affordable connectivity to five million global users and we believe shaka has the same growth potential. This is a world-class founding team committed to disrupting one of the world’s largest industries. We are delighted to have supported shaka from day zero and are very excited to see what impact they have on a global market worth $3 trillion.”

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