Truphone gets $118M to bring low-cost phone calls to the whole world

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Truphone is showing today why there’s big money in low-cost phone calls.

The U.K.-based mobile network has raised $118 million in a massive funding round led by Russian business tycoon Roman Abramovich.

Via its service, Truphone enables customers to make calls at standard local rates wherever Truphone has deals with local operators. The service essentially makes every phone call a local one.

That business model clearly enticed Abramovich, whose investment company has taken a 23.3 percent stake in Truphone, a company now valued at $473 million.

Truphone is available in 220 countries. It already offers its local call service in the U.K., U.S., and Australia. With the funding, it  plans to expand its business to Hong Kong, Poland, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands by the end of the year. The company also aims to hire hundreds of new employees by the middle of next year.

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