LOS ANGELES, Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- FreedomPop, America's new free Internet company, today announced an additional $4.3 million in funding in a Series A1 from existing investors, DCM and Mangrove Capital, bringing total funding to $11.2 million. The company also announced the expansion of their social broadband platform to allow users to leverage their social networks to share and request extra bandwidth from friends – extending the concept of the "sharing economy" popularized by AirBNB and TaskRabbit – to the broadband market. Additionally, FreedomPop users will now receive 50MB per user they refer – up 5x from 10MB previously.
"Today, users pay a big fee each month for a fixed data plan. 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," said Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop's CEO. "If I need more data this month while my friend doesn't, I should be able to share it and vice versa."
Though carriers like AT&T and Verizon have recently embraced family plans, FreedomPop's social platform goes beyond this to enable capacity to be shared across entire social networks. Also, users can check Facebook and Twitter, in addition to their email contacts, to see which of their friends are on FreedomPop and receive an additional 50MB of free data per friend they connect with, per month while their friend remains a FreedomPop user.
The appeal of FreedomPop's "Free Access for All" strategy is evidenced through their latest figures:
- Since launch, FreedomPop has given away more than 2 million MB to users for adding friends
- On average, each subscriber has invited 15 friends to join FreedomPop
- 99 percent of FreedomPop's registrations are being driven by organic traffic versus advertising, validating the viral appeal of the service
"We already share everything from cars to couches," added Stokols. "Now, we can share our Internet capacity and empower our network of friends to get the most value for their money."
FreedomPop users already enjoy 100 percent free high speed Internet via a wide range of devices, including its 4G iPod Sleeve, 4G iPhone 4/4S Sleeve, mi-fi mobile hotspot, USB dongle and home broadband router. There are also no contracts, commitments or hidden fees, and users can connect up to eight devices wirelessly. The social broadband feature is now available. For more information or to sign up for FreedomPop's free Internet service, visit www.FreedomPop.com
Founded in 2011, FreedomPop is America's new telecom company backed by DCM, Mangrove Capital, and Skype founder Niklas Zennstom's Atomico. Its aim is to provide disruptive internet services ensuring that no one is left off the "connected grid." FreedomPop launched its free broadband service on Clearwire's 4G network earlier this year and is scheduled to go live with Sprint in 2013.
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