Now Entering Russ's World
FreedomPop is an upstart mobile carrier based out of Los Angeles. They got their first taste of success back when they opened up in 2012, getting seed money from the founder of Skype. Since then the company has gamely pushed on in the crowded and contentious world of mobile carriers, carefully carving out a name for themselves thanks to their unique ‘freemium’ business model. In fact they were so successful that many thought the company was destined to quickly cash in for a buck. However CEO Stephen Stokols turned that rumor on its head by telling reporters, reported by Recode.net, that it was ‘premature to sell’.
Instead Stephen Stokols and the team at FreedomPop have begun to bring in more investors. At the end of their latest Series B investment round the company managed to pull in another $30 million from European venture capital group Partech Ventures. Alongside Partech Ventures we saw DCM Capital and Mangrove Capital also take part in the investing. This move will allow FreedomPop to begin their move overseas as they want to start operating in the U.K. marketplace.
Stokols told reporters that the FreedomPop had ‘multiple offers on the M&A side’ and that it was difficult to turn them all down. However, doing things the normal way has never been the forte of FreedomPop. As a freemium mobile carrier their business model is intrinsically irregular. Right now the company offers all users the opportunity to have a free phone with restricted amounts of data, voice, and text. Users are under no obligation to purchase any products and only have to pay if they go over their allowance.
Stokols and FreedomPop bank on their ability to upsell other products, such as the Jetsetter international program, in order to bring in extra money from their more than 1 million subscribers.