Los Angeles Business Journal

FreedomPop Raises $4.3 Million More

By Natalie Jarvey Thursday, February 7, 2013

What’s better than free wireless Internet access? How about more?

FreedomPop, the West Los Angeles provider of free broadband Internet, announced Tuesday that has launched a sharing platform that allows its users to search their social networks to share and request more bandwidth from their friends.

So if FreedomPop’s 500 megabytes of free data each month isn’t enough, users can now find additional data without the extra cost.

“The hidden secret in the wireless industry is that 80 percent of users consume less than the amount they are paying for each month and the rest goes to waste or AT&T’s bottom line,” FreedomPop Chief Executive Stephen Stokols said in a statement. “If I need more data this month while my friend doesn’t, I should be able to share it and vice versa.”

The sharing feature comes on the heels of an additional $4.3 million in funding for FreedomPop, bringing its total funding to $11.2 million. The money came from existing investors DCM in Menlo Park and Mangrove Capital in Luxembourg.

To motivate users to build up a network of friends using FreedomPop, the company now gives away an additional 50 megabytes of free data, up from 10 megabytes, every time users refer a friend to the service. The company said this gives each user more data to share.

FreedomPop, which was founded in 2011, offers free 4G bandwidth to users who access its special wireless hotspots or use its wireless-connected plastic sleeves for mobile devices. The company last month partnered with Marina del Rey’s TextPlus to offer its consumers low-cost texting and calls.