SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Open Garden announced today a new series A investment round of $10.8 million. Total investments to date for the company add up to $12.8 million.
The Series A round was led by August Capital. Howard Hartenbaum, a partner at the firm and early investor in Skype, joined the board of Open Garden Inc. Other investors include Firebolt Ventures, Future Perfect Ventures, Kima Ventures, Tseung Kwan Ventures and Sherpalo.
The funding round closed in March 2014 and remained undisclosed until now for competitive purposes. Open Garden previously closed a $2 million Seed Series round in July 2012 with Digital Garage Incubation and 16 angel investors.
"The writing is on the wall. Peer-to-peer networking is the future of the mobile Internet," said Micha Benoliel, CEO and cofounder of Open Garden. "FireChat's popularity is an early indicator of an impending massive disruption. People and communities around the world now understand that their phone and a free app is all they need to create 'their own Internet,' independently of existing infrastructures and powers."
The company will use the funds to accelerate the growth of FireChat, its popular messaging app, and build partnerships with mobile app developers in the key mobile growth markets with a focus on India, Latin America, and Asia.
"Given the huge volume of mobile devices reaching new markets and the endless appetite for mobile data, a structural revolution is inevitable," said Howard Hartenbaum, general partner at August Capital. "We are approaching the end of the mobile Internet as we know it. The peer-to-peer decentralized model pioneered by Open Garden will power a new era of innovation and social development for billions of people."
About Open Garden
Open Garden is a San Francisco-based startup dedicated to connecting the next 5 billion mobile devices with peer-to-peer connections. Open Garden was recognized as the Most Innovative Startup when it was debuted at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2012, and was the Grand Prize Winner of the GMIC startup competition in October 2013.
A free app for iOS and Android devices, FireChat demonstrates the benefits of Open Garden's mesh networking technology. FireChat is the first "off-the-grid" mobile messaging app. It enables people to send and receive messages and photos even when no Internet connection or cellular phone coverage are available.
Launched in March 2014, FireChat has reached the top 10 amongst social networking apps in 124 countries around the world. FireChat's top markets are the US, India, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, China, Russia, the UK, Taiwan and Japan.
FireChat was selected for the App Store's "Best of 2014" in Japan and Korea.
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SOURCE Open Garden