Following months of M&A speculation, FreedomPop today announced it has secured $30 million in new financing to accelerate its growth in the U.S., scale its operation and expand its free mobile service to more people, in more markets. FreedomPop declined multiple M&A offers, instead opting to secure financing and ramp its business organically. The Series B is being led by Partech Ventures and, as part of the financing, Mark Menell, General Partner, will be joining the FreedomPop board of directors. Existing investors DCM Capital and Mangrove Capital also contributed to the latest round. In addition, a new strategic investor is also being added to the round, but is not part of the initial tranche and will be announced separately.
“Partech Ventures was the perfect fit for us given its network and reach in Europe, where we are focusing our initial international expansion” said Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop founder and CEO. “Partech, coupled with our existing U.S. investors, gives us support from Sand Hill Road to Europe.”
In addition to bringing new mobile services to U.S. customers and expanding its free mobile service to more countries, FreedomPop will move more aggressively into offline retail partnerships to expand its distribution network. FreedomPop currently has major retail partnerships in progress.
“We are excited to have FreedomPop as one of the first investments in our new growth equity fund. We believe the company has an incredibly disruptive business model for today’s large and fast-growing global telecoms industry,” said Mark Menell. “This is also largely a bet on FreedomPop’s outstanding management team, who we knew we could partner with from the first time we met.”
Since the launch of FreedomPop’s free phone service 18 months ago, FreedomPop has upended the U.S. mobile market by introducing free mobile voice services along with compelling, first-to-market offers such as data rollover, Wi-Fi first calls on a nationwide Wi-Fi network, free international calling plans, and more. Approaching 1 million subscribers later this year, FreedomPop is proving that innovative business models can bring positive change to consumers.
“We received several M&A offers, but we ultimately decided it was premature to sell on the cusp of exponential traction,” added Stokols. “Following on accelerated growth and our pending global expansion, we are confident we will create massive value within the next 12 to 24 months at which point we could revisit exit options.”
In May, FreedomPop announced the launch of U.K.’s first free mobile phone service, available later this summer, and expects to expand further into Europe later this year. The company also launched Jetsetter, the world’s first global SIM that offers free service that will be initially available in the UK, Spain and France.
Following news on FreedomPop’s planned UK launch later this summer, FreedomPop has just signed an Agreement with X-Mobility, a Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator (MVNA) for Three UK, that via its wholesale relationship will provide access to its award winning network to power FreedomPop services.
To sign up for FreedomPop’s UK Beta, go to freedompop.com/uk
Uber Black Cars now offering Free WiFi powered by FreedomPop at the Indy500 this Memorial Day weekend. Get those smartphone engines running and connect to FreedomPop’s blazing-fast LTE mobile hotspots while riding in style with Uber.
We’re constantly working on ways to work towards providing a disruptive service so that no one is left off the “connected grid”. We launched with mobile hotspots and now offer the first 100% Free Mobile Phone service. This is just yet another model that we’re testing and may expand nationally with any public transportation vehicle from Uber to buses.
At FreedomPop, we’re all really excited to announce our first steps into Europe with the launch of UK’s very first free mobile phone service this summer. We’ve seen tremendous success with offering free talk, text, and data in the US, and we’re looking forward to making this available to everyone, wherever they are. Sign up on a first-come, first-serve basis at freedompop.com/uk to be among our first beta users.
The free tier will include 200 minutes, 200 texts, and 200MB of data. Also, included is free international calling to over 60 countries and free unlimited calls and texts to each other.
We’re also launching Jetsetter, the world’s first global sim that offers free service that will be initially available in the UK, Spain, and France. Beta invites will become available here or at freedompop.com/jetsetter.
We’re announcing an awesome new FreedomPop software update – “FreedomPop Premium Voice” for existing and new customers that will seamlessly enable FreedomPop phones to switch between VoIP and traditional cellular voice networks. This update will help ensure the best possible call quality regardless of data network speeds.
This is a new upgrade option that we are rolling out. New customers can take advantage of Premium Voice today and it will become available for Freedompop customers to upgrade into using a simple app update in Google Play. We’re continuously working on improving our phone technology to bring a better call experience to all FreedomPop customers and further our company’s mission to disrupt the mobile phone industry and rewrite the rules of American telecom.
Seamlessly connect to nearly 10 million hotspots across the country with FreedomPop’s new unlimited WiFi plan. Any smartphone or tablet with any carrier can get unlimited talk, text, and data for $5 per month. Connect to WiFi via the free FreedomPop App (available in the Google Play store) and access a growing network of 10 million hotspots, many of which are closed to the public. With auto-connect access, there is no need to manually connect via device settings or authentication pages.
Now with FreedomPop Nationwide WiFi, consumers have an alternative to high priced LTE data plans and a simple way to cut down on their cellular data usage with the lowest cost unlimited plan on the market. FreedomPop’s mission has always been about ensuring that everyone has access to affordable and essential communication services.
Learn more about FreedomPop’s Nationwide WiFi network at http://www.freedompop.com/nationwidewifi
We’re very excited to announce the availability of the world’s first 100% free international calling plan with FreedomPop international calling to over 50 countries including Mexico, Canada, India, and the UK. Calling plans will differ depending on country and may range between landlines and mobile numbers; however, FreedomPop international calling plans will be 75% lower compared to other carriers.Users can receive 100 FREE minutes or choose from any of our pre-paid plans starting at just $4.99 per month.
Not only do we now support FreedomPop international calling in over 170 new markets, but we will be providing the option to receive virtual numbers that enable calls from different countries sometime soon.
We’re celebrating our second birthday and first anniversary of offering 100% Free Talk, Text, and Data with a special launch of our very first FreedomPop-branded devices all under $100.
The device shipping today is the FreedomPop Liberty, a 7-inch, 4GB Android phablet with Wi-Fi only at $89 MSRP. Coming in the next month is the FreedomPop Frenzy, a 7-inch, 4GB LTE plus wi-fi Android phablet at $99; followed by an $89 LTE Android phone in the coming months; and an expansion of its high-end mobile smartphones including the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Note 3 at half the current MSRP.
All devices come with FreedomPop’s 100 percent free text and voice service giving users 200 voice minutes and 500 texts free each month.
For information or to order, visit FreedomPop.com.
FreedomPop recognized as a finalist in CTIA’s Super Mobility Week Startup Lab, and rakes in industry accolades for both Innovation and Disruption. In addition, FreedomPop CEO, Stephen Stokols wins 16th Annual Wireless Week Leader Award where past recipients include Tom Keys, Peter Chou, Neville Ray, Dan Mead, Ralph de la Vega, and Dan Hesse.
“With this award, Wireless Week honors Mr. Stokols’ wireless business model innovations. As CEO at FreedomPop, Mr. Stokols has led his freemium service on a disruptive path through the mobile industry,” said Andrew Berg, Senior Editor at Wireless Week. “By consistently evolving FreedomPop’s rates, services and device portfolio, Mr. Stokols has proven that giving it away for free can be good business.”
CTIA brings together all industries advanced by wireless technology for intense business, learning and networking. It has represented the wireless communications industry since 1984.