An Amibitious Couple's Blog Experiment

A History of FreedomPop

FreedomPop is a company based in Los Angeles, CA, that provides free mobile phone and wireless Internet service. They also provide Sprint and Clearwire with wireless text and data voice services. They sell broadband devices, tablets and mobile phones for people to use in conjunction with the services they provide.

In 2011, Steven Sesar and Stephen Stokols co-founded the company, with Stokols acting as CEO. In October 2012, they started to sell their own line of smartphones. At that point, five percent of the company’s users started to pay for their service. In November of the same year, the number of paid users increased to 10 percent. They rolled out wireless Internet and mobile services in the U.S. by taking advantage of the 4G network provided by Clearwire. By December 2012, the amount of paid users for FreedomPop’s services had increased to 20 percent.

April 2013 saw the company begin a successful partnership with Sprint in an effort to increase their coverage so that it would include Sprint compatible devices with 3G and 4G service. FreedomPop’s beta free mobile phone plan was released in October 2013. This included data, text and voice services.

In April 2014, the company started to support and sell iPhones that are compatible with Sprint. There was also an iOS application released that is able to provide American users with voicemail, text and voice services. In May, they started to support LTE Android smartphones with an Android application. In July, FreedomPop made an announcement regarding its intent to go into partnership with Dutch carrier KPN and begin providing SIM card-based plans for people in Belgium. The company currently does not offer any mobile devices in any countries other than the U.S.

The company started to provide tablet users with its free 4G text, voice and data plans. These services were first offered with the Samsung Tab 3 and the iPad mini. In order for a person to qualify for the free text, voice and data plans, they are required to buy a tablet from FreedomPop or they must use an eligible Sprint device.

Several inexpensive tablets and smartphones were unveiled by the company in October 2014. A Wi-Fi only tablet with a seven-inch screen was the initial release. It is called the FreedomPop Liberty and comes equipped with free SMS text messaging and voice services. Another device released by the company is the FreedomPop Frenzy, an LTE tablet with a ten-inch screen. It was released in November 2014 and includes free data, text and voice services. There have been some unconfirmed reports of another smartphone and tablet being introduced within the next six months to one year. However, the features and plans that would be included with these devices are unknown at this point.

In terms of how FreedomPop has received their funding to grow at the incredible rate they have experienced, the company was able to raise a total of $7.5 million when Doll Capital Management and Mangrove Capital both became involved in a preliminary round of funding in July 2012. They were also able to successfully raise $4.3 million in July 2013 from the same two firms in the form of series A1 financing. According to the USA Today, Sprint Corporation entered into talks in November 2014 to purchase FreedomPop for an amount estimated to be somewhere between $250 million and $450 million.

 

–Johnny

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