Category Archives: Turn Down For What

FreedomPop Turns Down M&A Rumors

After reading their piece in TechCrunch, FreedomPop is one of the premier alternative mobile phone carriers currently gaining traction in the United States today. The company started back in 2012 with a vision of becoming a global product, available as a freemium network for anyone that needs service. After getting established the company received immediate start up funds from the founder of Skype and since then they have been on an upward trajectory in the marketplace. For the past couple of months the team at FreedomPop has been plagued by rumors that there company was open or a sale. Finally CEO Stephen Stokols has turned those rumors down for the last time.

Right now the telemarketing world is ablaze with companies like AT&T and Comcast buying up every promising business in sight. This has set the tone for companies like FreedomPop to make some pretty large financial demands. It seemed only plausible that the L.A. based start up would be on the shopping block in a serious fashion. CEO Stephen Stokols told reporters that they indeed did get “several M&A offers” from a bunch of different, large companies. The offers ranged in value but he hinted that an offer of around $250 million existed on his table at one point. So why didn’t the company sell?

Well, Stokols told reporters that the company felt it was “premature to sell” and that there was still work to do as an independent company. These words were punctuated by a successful round of Series B investing shortly thereafter. European venture capital groups Partech Ventures, Mangrove Capital, and DCM Capital would go on to invest a cumulative of $30 million into the upstart company in order to get on the ground floor of their inventive new business plan.

FreedomPop offers their subscribers a completely free, no strings attached, base mobile phone package. For absolutely no charge subscribers get a limited amount of minutes, text messages, and MB of mobile data. In order to maintain a profit FreedomPop then offers additional services, such as international calling and phone insurance, in order to upsell customers. The only time a subscriber has to ever pay is if they experience overages without an expanded plan set in place.

After hitting the million subscriber mark here in the United States the team at FreedomdPop is looking at an overseas expansion. Right now FreedomPop is available in its basic form in the United Kingdom, one of the most competitive mobile markets in the world. The basic U.K. package includes 200 MB of data, 200 text messages, and 200 voice minutes and is slightly more restricted than the U.S. counterpart. The plan for FreedomPop right now is to expand their coverage in the U.K. and start working harder to expand the company.