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.
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