ekit Inc acquires Irishmen’s New York company Fonepool

11 Jun 2012

Fonepool, a company started in New York in 2003 by Irishmen Colman Lydon and John Dennehy, has been acquired by ekit Inc, a subsidiary of JT Global, for an undisclosed sum.

Fonepool, which Siliconrepublic.com first wrote about in 2003 when it began providing mobile services to Irish students working in the US on J1 visas, has evolved into providing a streamlined method of purchasing mobile phone services for the medium or long-term in overseas customers.

Tens of thousands of Irish customers are travelling to the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Ekit is a Delaware-based subsidiary of JT Global, a global telecoms provider headquartered in the Channel Islands. It provides mobile device, SIM card, calling card, VoIP, voicemail, text and mapping services to more than 300,000 customers in North America, Europe and Australia. It is partnered with 400 travel providers, including Orbitz, American Express, Lonely Planet and Rail Europe, to name a few.

Co-founder John Dennehy is spearheading social recruitment referrals start-up Zartis and another venture started up around the same time as Fonepool, Upstart Games, a publisher of games for mobile devices, which was acquired in 2006 by Sun TV Shop, a China-based new media company with strong Irish connections that is listed on the AIM.

It is understood that Lydon will be joining ekit in a consulting role, developing new business opportunities.

Lydon said local travel sales partners in Ireland were integral to Fonepool’s growth.

“Along with the support of their incumbent telecommunications parent in the UK, they (ekit) are ideally poised to solve the increasing need to stay connected while travelling, combined with the ever-present need to manage costs,” Lydon said.

Manhattan skyline image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years