FreedomPop Gets a $10M Asian Infusion

FreedomPop is looking Southeast with its latest round of funding. The startup has grabbed another $10 million, this time in a strategic investment from the Axiata Group, an Asian operator.

The Axiata Group is described as the largest operator in Southeast Asia. The carrier has more than 230 million users across Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Singapore, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.

The investment and partnership will allow FreedomPop to expand its free phone service to millions of users in Asia, the startup says. "Axiata's investment comes with a major commercial partnership that will help take FreedomPop to a whole new level globally," said Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop founder and CEO in a statement.

The Los Angeles startup currently offers users in the US a guaranteed 500MB of data, 500 text messages, and 200 anytime voice minutes every month free. The company charges $10 a month for unlimited voice as well as additional charges for extra data and faster downloads.

FreedomPop said last year that it plans to expand into Europe as well. (See Eurobites: FreedomPop Heads to Europe.)

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The Los Angeles-based startup has now raised a total of $59.3 million in funding since it started in 2011. It operates as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) on the Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) network in the US. (See FreedomPop Grabs $30M More in Funding.)

In June, CEO Stokols said that the firm had decided against several acquisition offers for the time being. The company will revisit its exit options again in a year or two, after its planned international growth spurt.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

MikeP688 10/27/2015 | 3:42:34 PM
Re: ...Some Late Breaking Developments.... u Bet--this is not to discourage them.  But I made it clear to them in my talks how they were such a waste of time.    Hopefully they'll get their act together. 
DanJones 10/27/2015 | 3:19:58 PM
Re: ...Some Late Breaking Developments.... Interesting, thanks!
MikeP688 10/27/2015 | 11:51:48 AM
...Some Late Breaking Developments.... I decided to cancel my Freedompop service.    They still have a lot of work to do to improve customer service and reliability.    They still have to refine their service in order to make the necessary inroads for success.     "Free" and "cheap" does not necessarily translate into reliablity--which needs to be the driving force here.   
MikeP688 7/30/2015 | 7:29:08 PM
Re: A real model of success Whenever start-ups succeed, it is always gratifying for those of us who are also dreaming of such success.   We have to embrace it--and yes learn from it too.   It is a learning experience constantly and consistently.

MikeP688 7/30/2015 | 7:25:25 PM
As a FreedomPop Customer.... It is always gratifying to see such stories.    Despite some of the reservations I have about theme hitched w/Sprint, I still think that they have discovered something that will give the majors a run for their money.   The idea that, somehow, you can do free Wi-Fi Calls, have a guarantted base of cell phone service is just beautiful.   We all need to keep watching this space.
Patrick_Agricole 7/30/2015 | 11:03:51 AM
A real model of success This startup is really a model for all workers like me who persists succeed!
Thank you for this great article.
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