Optus wholesale customer Travelsim Australia has collapsed into voluntary administration under the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic, appointing Jason Bettles of Worrels as administrator on Thursday evening.
Founded in 2006, the company sells outbound tourists sim cards, primarily serviced through the Optus network. However, it has seen revenue dry up completely amid international border closures in recent months.
Bettles says his goal is to sell the business as a going concern, with interested buyers already circling the company.
“The company seems to have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and more particularly because, of course, no one can travel,” Bettles says.
Optus Australia, the company’s largest creditor, is understood to be interested in seeing the business sold to an independent wholesaler, but may step in with an arrangement of its own if no suitable buyer is found.
An Optus spokesperson said it was working with the company through the administration.
“We recognise this has been a challenging time for many companies,” the spokesperson said.
“We have been and continue to work constructively with TravelSim through this difficult period to seek to preserve services to their customers and roles for their staff.”
The company has previously had around 30 employees, but reduced its workforce to half a dozen staff members in the lead up to the collapse.
Bettles confirmed the company is enrolled in the federal government’s JobKeeper program and continues to receive payments.
Australia Post, which last December inked a deal with Travelsim on a range of white-labelled local sim cards called FlexiSim, is also understood to be a creditor.
Outbound tourism has crashed to almost zero in recent months and is not expected to rebound for some time, as international borders remain closed in travel hotspots around the world.
Many smaller tourism-reliant operators across Australia are struggling, amid growing calls for the federal government to extend additional financial support to the sector.
A first meeting of Travelsim creditors has been scheduled for July 13.