FreedomPop bags $50M funding; launches 'free data' hotspot - Mobile World Live

FreedomPop bags $50M funding; launches ‘free data’ hotspot

21 JAN 2016

US MVNO FreedomPop said it raised an additional $50 million in funding as it targets international expansion, while also unveiling a new hotspot offering data services in 25 countries.

Its latest funding comes just six months after the company raised $30 million, with Intel reported as one investor. Shortly after, it took its first steps outside its domestic US market by launching in the UK.

The start-up did not reveal who was behind the latest investment, with CEO Stephen Stokols only telling TechCrunch that it’s a very large private equity group. It has now raised a total of $109 million in funding.

FreedomPop, which operates an unusual model of offering users a way to use certain mobile services completely free of charge, said the latest investment would also help with the roll-out of its new hotspot and SIM offering, available from yesterday.

Initially launched in 24 countries in Europe, and the US, the service “aggregates cellular networks from across the world to give users a single data connection for free”.

Access to the service actually costs an initial $49.99, and gives users 200MB of free data per month in supported countries, with the option of purchasing an additional 500MB for $10. The SIM is available at $10 and will provide phone coverage.

The company said it expects to expand the offering to more than 40 countries by the end of the year, including parts of Asia and Latin America.

Steven Sesar, COO and co-founder, believes the new financing “ensures that FreedomPop has the capital required to become a top 10 global service provider”.

“FreedomPop has proven that new internet business models work in the telecom space and has developed the technology to scale it globally,” he added.

Since its initial launch, FreedomPop said it has more than 1 million subscribers, adding that it expects to announce strategic partnerships with mobile operators over the next few months.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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