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FreedomPop Grabs $30M More in FundingFreedomPop Grabs $30M More in Funding

MVNO says it has ducked several M&A offerings to focus on growth and will revisit its options a year or two down the line.

Dan Jones

June 17, 2015

2 Min Read
FreedomPop Grabs $30M More in Funding

Free phone service provider FreedomPop has secured $30 million in series B venture funding and is hinting at an IPO as a potential option within the next couple of years.

The Los Angeles-based startup has now raised a total of $49.3 million in funding since it started in 2011. CEO Stephen Stokols says that the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) isn't taking up any of the buyout offers it has received but instead considering its options, which appear to include an acquisition or an initial public offering (IPO). (See FreedomPop Grabs $5M to Support Android Push.)

"We received several M&A offers, but we ultimately decided it was premature to sell on the cusp of exponential traction," the company notes in a blog post. "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."

FreedomPop is an independent MVNO that handles its own customer service but uses the Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) network to offer voice over IP (VoIP) and data services, as well as running on WiFi. The operator offers a service that gives users a guaranteed 500MB of data, 500 text messages and 200 voice minutes every month free for life. (See FreedomPop Phones It In (for Free).)

Stokols told Light Reading recently that the business is largely unaffected by a change in Sprint's policy towards activating aftermarket devices for its MVNOs. This is because FreedomPop mostly sells devices direct to users. (See Sprint Policy Change Spells Trouble for MVNOs and Gambling on Used Sprint Phones: Are Users Buying a Brick?)

For all the latest news from the wireless networking and services sector, check out our mobile channel here on Light Reading.

The new money will help FreedomPop's ambitions to expand in Europe. The company plans to launch a free service in the UK this summer. The company also launched Jetsetter, a global SIM-based free service that will be initially available in the UK, Spain and France. (See Eurobites: FreedomPop Heads to Europe.)

The $30 million round is being led by Partech Ventures. Existing investors DCM Capital and Mangrove Capital also contributed to the latest round. FreedomPop says that a strategic investor, which typically means a carrier or vendor investment, is being added to the round but isn't being named yet.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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