FREEDOMPOP RAISES $50 MILLION IN FINANCING AND LAUNCHES GLOBAL HOTSPOT WITH FREE DATA ACROSS THE WORLD
Latest financing will fuel growth and accelerate international expansion starting with free data in 25 countries beginning today.
LOS ANGELES, CA – January 20, 2016 – Just six months after closing $30 million in financing and on the heels of its successful U.K. service launch last quarter, FreedomPop today announced it has raised an additional $50 million in financing, bringing its total funding to over $109 million. The new funding will be used to fuel continued growth of its disruptive free mobile service and accelerate its international expansion in markets in Europe, Asia and South America, including the launch of its new Global hotspot and SIM covering initially covering the European region.
Available today, the Global hotspot aggregates cellular networks from across the world to give users a single seamless data connection for free. It will initially give U.S. and U.K. users free global data in 25 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and Czech Republic. FreedomPop plans to expand coverage to over 40 countries by year end including parts of Asia and Latin America.
The 100 percent free global plans automatically include 200 MBs per month of data in any of the supported countries, and can be used by any connected device or smartphone. Users will have the option to purchase additional global data at just $10 per 500 MBs. The Global hotspot is available today for a special launch price of $49.99 and the SIM will be available for $10 at FreedomPop.com/Global.
“FreedomPop has proven that new Internet business models work in the telecom space and has developed the technology to scale it globally. This new financing not only validates our capabilities, but it also ensures that FreedomPop has the capital required to become a top 10 global service provider,” said Steven Sesar, FreedomPop COO and Co-Founder. “The financing also supports our Global network launch, which is an exciting way to give consumers free Internet access across the world and eliminate roaming costs no matter where they are.”
FreedomPop has added more than 1 million subscribers since its initial launch. The company will expand into additional countries, as well as announce strategic partnerships with top global mobile carriers over the next several months.
To sign up for FreedomPop’s Global hotspot, go to FreedomPop.com/Global
Shoppers Can Skip the “Deals” from Major Mobile Carriers and Big Box Stores to Rack up Hundreds of Dollars in Savings with Smartphones Starting at $40 Bundled With Free Data, Text and Voice Each Month
Holiday shoppers have officially started hunting down the best bargains to purchase on Black Friday, but those looking for new devices should be wary of signing up for that one cent smartphone, which likely comes with hundreds of dollars in mobile service subscription costs and fees.
FreedomPop, the completely free mobile services provider, today announced its Black Friday deals which include smartphones for as low as $40, bundled with its completely free mobile data, text and voice services for life. Customers that sign up through the offer will also receive unlimited talk and text and 1GB data free for the first month. Users will then receive FreedomPop’s standard 500 MB of data, 500 texts and 500 voice minutes completely free each month for life. The Black Friday offers are available beginning today and include:
- Motorola E 2nd Generation LTE: Originally $229.99. Now available for $39.99 and includes shipping, offering customers approximately 80 percent in savings.
- Samsung Galaxy S4: Originally $449.99. Now available for $99.99 and includes shipping, offering customers approximately 77 percent in savings.
“Many shoppers will see cheap price tags and rush out to purchase devices, but they should keep in mind the monthly cost of providing mobile service to that device,” said Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop founder and CEO. “Our free service is perfect for those looking to cut costs and save more in the New Year, or for families on a budget who are ready to gift a first mobile phone to a teen or grandparent. We also have affordable options for international calls or for those who may want to use more data or texts each month.”
U.K. residents can now receive completely free mobile service. FreedomPop today announced that its much-anticipated 100 percent free mobile service is now available throughout the U.K., offering 200 minutes, 200 texts and 200 MBs of data completely free for life. For the first 10,000 users to sign up, FreedomPop is also offering a special plan with 1000 minutes, 1000 text and 1 GB of data free for the first month of service.
In addition, FreedomPop users will have the unique opportunity to earn unlimited free data by completing various third-party offers such as taking a survey or downloading a coupon. Customers can also share and receive free data with any friends and family that are also FreedomPop users, creating a democratic community that allows users to decide how much data they need, earn it and even share it with others.
FreedomPop is also offering new value added services to their U.K. users, including the ability to roll over any unused data each month, receive usage alerts to ensure they don’t incur overage charges and an additional virtual international phone number so people in other countries can call for free.
“The U.K. has had many mobile providers and services enter the market, but none of them offer a completely new business model enabling free service, guaranteed for life,” said Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop CEO and co-Founder. “Similar to the U.S., FreedomPop will deliver unprecedented value to consumers with an easy-to-use, high-quality mobile service. We believe everyone should have access to mobile services, and we’re going to make that a reality in the U.K.”
The U.K. is the first market outside the U.S. to receive FreedomPop’s free mobile services. FreedomPop plans to expand its free service to seven other countries within the next 12 months and over 20 markets by 2017.
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