Mobile cell phone carriers have been all the rage in the tech start up world as newer and newer companies all vie to get the inside scoop on how to grab a new demographic of clienteles. Whether these new independent mobile carriers are focused on unlimited data plans or nationwide hotspot networks, they are all looking to get the edge while undercutting the opposition. One L.A. based start up, FreedomPop, is now looking at a global expansion after shrugging off dogged M&A rumors over the past couple of months.
FreedomPop was established in L.A. back in 2012 by a group of tech minded individuals. Their start up was immediately seeded by the founder of Skype and this pushed CEO Stephen Stokols and the rest of the group forward with near instant success. FreedomPop is focusing on supplying a ‘freemium’ carrier service for people who are interested in completely free, and limited, service as the core part of their plan. Individuals who sign up for FreedomPop get a limited amount of free mobile data, minutes, and SMS text messages. If the clients go over their limit then they are charged overages or if they wish to upgrade their plan they can buy additional services.
The start up became a hot commodity after the huge networking giants, like AT&T and Comcast, began snapping up smaller mobile companies. For months there were rumors that FreedomPop was on the verge of selling. This ended up not being the case as FreedomPop just closed out a successful Series B round which inked them over $30 million in new investment capital, thanks in large part to Partech Ventures — a European venture capitalist group. With this new investment money in hand the company is aiming at pushing their U.K. expansion.
FreedomPop has already launched their core brand in the U.K. which is one of the hardest and most competitive mobile markets in the world. It’s slightly more restricted than the U.S. release but has its own set of perks. Users who travel often can also partake in the U.K. special service ‘JetSetter’ which is focused on giving certain amounts of free data to those that would otherwise be roaming due to their traveling. FreedomPop is currently growing at a rate of 25% per quarter and these new services should help to keep the company floating toward the big time, ultimately making them competitive with the other huge carriers.
While the freemium mobile data plan is pretty unique it is likely to be a trend going forward, not something that breaks the mould. More and more companies are needing to offer dramatic new services in order to acquire and retain a customer base. With mobile hot spots becoming common place as well there is no reason that companies can’t get creative with what they are going to be offering. As FredomPop grows expect them to be emulated by many new companies popping up all over the world and watch as the mobile trend completely changes for the better.