The Blue Label conundrum

Blue Label will need to get Cell C turned around and properly profitable.

02 May 2024

Blue Label Telecoms co-CEOs, Mark and Brett Levy.

Investors simply don’t know what to make of Blue Label Telecoms. The business was built on an enviable and still unsurpassed prepaid airtime distribution network. But despite forays into all manner of adjacencies, its revenue today still largely comes from what it’s done since its founding in 2001 – vending prepaid tokens digitally.

The genius of the business, started by brothers Brett and Mark Levy, was that in 2001, there were no electronic or digital top-up PINs. It fathomed a way to buy physical recharge cards, scratch them in a production line, and then digitise the PIN, which it could then vend. Eventually, mobile operators relented and embraced the vending of tokens digitally.

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